Foot and Ankle Prep, Updated
The source of this information is three months or roughly 100 hours of an art school Physical Education class. It is an evolving process of getting 40 kids first period to prep their ankles and feet for movement and game play. Most have gotten rid of their high tops and some even take their shoes off. I’m pretty proud of it.
Sequence (each component was previously practiced and focused on before blending):
Feet together – signals start of unified prep work
1. Right foot grip – cued as shorten toes to make arch, taught as big toe lift
2. Left heel up – primes balance for single leg stance, cue squish hole and butt squeeze
3. Left toe tap – neurological confidence, periodic single leg stance
4. Left hand out – potentiates obliques
5. Left foot up into single leg stance – taught as holds for 15 sec, then same with eyes closed
5. Repeat Steps 1 – 5 with left foot grip and right leg lifted into single leg stance
1. Roll right foot out – cue lock knee and butt forward. They will not like this at the start. Keep reinforcing that the ankles should be a mobile joint and be able to get there. Reminding the body that it is capable of getting there allows it to bounce back from a misstep that would otherwise cause an ankle sprain.
2. Pulse left leg up into single leg stance – gets some weight on the roll out to accentuate position. Attempt to hold this position to gain mobility confidence.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for left foot roll out.
4. Right foot back – “Michael Jackson toe”
5. Roll right heel out
6. Get (right foot) laces to the floor – bend standing (left) knee slightly to use weight to drive top of right foot down. This is a good place to remind them of hole squish and butt forward.
7. Drag right foot forward – “pull hip through” to get some ankle traction.
If your kids are the fashionable type, let them know it’s OK to crease your shoes.
8. Repeat steps 4 – 7 for left foot drags.
9. Roll both ankles out – squeeze butt and lock knees
10. Roll out walks – KEEPING ankles stiff and using butt to drive entire movement. No ankle wobbles. Hips down are should be locked. Forward six-ish feet, then reversed. This is not a race.
If this worked for you I’d love to hear about it. If you had any complications I’d like to know that too. There’s a comment section on this thing. Feel free to fire away.