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Foot & Ankle Mobility: How to Perform Foot Flexion/Extension Waves

education mobility Dec 05, 2018

 This is one of those drills that you are going to want to do over and over again all throughout the day! It feels so good.

We want you to work on super precise movements from the toes up to the ankles, differentiating the movement in the feet from the movement at the ankles. 

Fair warning, your feet may cramp during this exercise and that is ok! This can be an indication that you need smarter feet. The best way to get smarter feet is to work on foot and ankle mobility. 

Let's get started: 

Foot Flexion/Extension Waves


Here's how you perform the drill:

  • Begin in a tall lengthened spine either seated or standing
  • Bring the active leg out in front of you with the knee locked out
  • Pull your toes into extension (towards your head), now bring your foot into dorsi flexion (towards your head)
  • Without letting your toes point, now point your ankle into plantar flexion (towards the floor). Be super accurate  with pointing the ankle without letting the toes point
  • Finally, when you are at end range of motion for the ankle, curl your toes. This is where you may cramp so if you need to take it easy, do so. If you can, go into full toe flexion (towards the floor)
  • Now try to make this movement more continuous like a wave. 
  • You can also reverse the sequence by starting in ankle dorsi flexion (towards the head) with toe flexion (towards the floor)
  • Then, move your ankle into plantar flexion (towards the floor) while maintaining toe flexion (towards the floor). 
  • When you hit full plantar flexion, add toe extension (towards the head). 
  • Now reverse. 

Common mistakes:

  • Moving the ankle and toes a the same time rather than moving one and then the other
  • Avoiding end range of motion - you have to work for the end range of motion which may cause a cramp but we need to work the end ranges to get smarter feet!
  • Losing the tall spine position
  • Building up too much tension all over
  • Breath holding

Let's get your feet & ankles moving freely! Let us know how it goes!

(Education Credit: this drill is part of a series of mobility drills taught by Z-Health Performance Solutions - a leading educational company in neuro-centric training for pain and performance) 


About the Author: 

Taylor Kruse, recently featured in Men's Health, is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.

His inspiration stems from more than 15 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.

In 2013, he co-founded KRUSE ELITE with girlfriend, Alisha Hale. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance.


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