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Cold War Scout
12-30-2005, 02:39 PM
Continuing in our recent theme of how do we exercise non-traditional areas of our body, I thought it was time to bring up our feet and ankles. An area that is probably overlooked by many. At least from a perspective of specificity and focus.

Since our feet are the platforms that allow us as bipeds to successfully operate upright, their fitness and conditioning are also important to our performance.

So what, if anything, do YOU do to spend some time taking care of those critical elements of the combat equation? I am talking toes, feet and ankles.

Cold War Scout
12-30-2005, 02:55 PM
I use the Thera-Band rubber resistance bands. I loop the band over my foot and use the resistance of the bands. I can do all manner of ankle twists, foot twists, extension and flexion, and rotation.

Excellent idea! Exactly the kind of thing I was getting at, only the bands idea has given me food for thought.

Guantes
12-30-2005, 03:37 PM
Standing on a 4" block of wood, drop the ankles, then rise up on the toes, repeat, sets of twenty. This is done using around 100 lbs of additional weight, but I'm old and weak.

Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
12-30-2005, 04:07 PM
1) I wear "Power Shoes" when I walk the dog. Mine are about 20 years old and consist of a sneaker with a platform 3-4" thick for the front half of the sneaker so that the back half of the foot never touches the ground. I have had elite trainers tell me to avoid doing a pliometric program as was originally recommended by the manufacturer, but a 30-40 minute walk with the dog works things nicely. I also use them sometimes when moving around with sticks.

2) 1-2x a week (3 if getting ready for something) I go up "the Dune"-- a large sand dune over in Manhattan Beach. I go barefoot and while going up do bear crawls, go backwards, cariocas and forward. I sprint down and on the last one frog jump the whole way down.

3) Ankle foot problems often originate in misalignment of the hip rotators. Look for this when you have problems.

Manwell
12-30-2005, 05:51 PM
I personally work the calves with weights in hand as previously mentioned adding variation by adding a board under the ball of my foot for more motion. I also stretch my toes with a hand, curling them down and stretching them up. I find that stretching the ankle area by simple rotations is also effective. I wish I had dunes close by… this is a great exercise as Marc mentioned. Have been seriously looking at the rubber bands… in fact will probably place an order tonight from this site: http://www.jumpstretch.com/

Probably more important than the exercise is good footwear. This is another whole topic in its self.

Manwell

Paco
12-30-2005, 07:12 PM
I don't mess with them at all on a isolation basis but I move around a good bit every day.

I have a wild assed guess theory that isolated calf training is harmful to the achilles tendon over time. Just based on how frequent those tendon injuries seem to be today in sport where a few decades ago, they seemed a rarity. That, and I think it too extremely different than we naturally use our calves.

My WAG.

eight_88888888
01-11-2006, 10:28 PM
i just marched around, climbing up and down staircases.

my feet and ankles were sore for about a week, then they got stronger and the pain stopped.


it wasn't intentional, but i suppose that could strengthen your ankles as well? do correct me if i'm wrong- i wish to strengthen my ankles in a safe and non-joint-damaging manner.

mndoc
01-12-2006, 08:46 AM
1) I wear "Power Shoes" when I walk the dog. Mine are about 20 years old and consist of a sneaker with a platform 3-4" thick for the front half of the sneaker so that the back half of the foot never touches the ground. I have had elite trainers tell me to avoid doing a pliometric program as was originally recommended by the manufacturer, but a 30-40 minute walk with the dog works things nicely. I also use them sometimes when moving around with sticks.

+1 on the "Power Shoes". I used to use the plyometric program when I was playing college football, now I walk with them. They do make a difference in explosive power, however bear in mind that some of us are gifted with more "fast twitch" fibers than others and those people will probably respond better to something like plyometrics or power shoes.

ICUDOC
01-12-2006, 12:35 PM
http://www.mbt-uk.com/

Anybody use these shoes?
The Masai Barefoot Walkers?
I am sure the "power walkers" are prob. different.

Mike