29 September 2022
Training Ankle Stiffness
Guest post by Max Roger
Why do we train ankle stiffness?
Firstly, let’s clarify. A stiff ankle doesn’t mean it’s not mobile. You want to have good mobility so that you can perform lots of movements (eg. squats) safely and effectively. But ankle stiffness is required when you want to run efficiently.
What does it mean? That every time you hit the ground, with your heel slightly off it (that’s what you want, rather than striking the ground with your heel) you want to avoid your ankle sinking too far towards the ground (and certainly avoid it hitting the ground)!
The more it moves towards the ground the more energy is being wasted. That’s the lack of efficiency. So, improving this means that you can run at the same pace as before for longer, or the same distance but faster. Both those options sound great, right?!
3 ways to improve your ankle stiffness:
1. Skip: 3 sets of 20s a couple of times a week is great. No rope? Just imagine you have one – it’s the bouncing off the balls of your feet that makes the difference here (ie. keep your heels off the ground).
2. Split squats with an active foot (ie. front foot is on ball of foot rather than flat). This is where you are in a lunge position and keep your feet still as you do all the reps (3 sets of 8s is a good start) then switch legs. The active foot is where you start with your front heel off the ground, and keep it like that for the whole rep. (See photo above)
3. Focus on this when you run - think ‘bouncy’ and light on your feet, keeping your heels away from the ground.
For more depth on these ways get in touch with me via email at max@max-