Not wanting to roll any joints

  • Creator
  • #79570

    Hi everyone!
    I have always struggled with confidence on the trails, especially as they get more technical. My left foot is significantly flatter than my right (why, I have no idea), and I’m constantly rolling/injuring my left ankle/foot.
    Any advice to strengthen or mobilize ankles and how to increase confidence on the trails in general?

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Keymaster
    Jane Mackay on #79630

    Hi Morgan,
    My L ankle has always gone over easily too and I’ve always been very cautious on trails with lots of exposed roots and rocky scrabbly downhills. My best recommendation from personal experience is single-leg strengtheners, esp. those that improve balance. Targeted strength training is the first line of defence against injury. I can make a personal plug for Chamonix Mountain Fit as a fantastic first step in this regard. At the gym, single-leg straight leg deadlifts on a balance disc have been amazing for me — they strengthen all the little intrinsic muscles in the foot and ankle. My other strong recommendation if you’re not already experienced with strength training: start slowly and light and proceed cautiously. Two to three months of CMF (2x per week) would be a great intro/transition phase before moving to more intense exercises, esp. using dumbbells or kettlebells.

    Have you consulted with a physio or coach? A structured, tailored plan would allow you to progress more quickly and with less possibility of overdoing it or injuring yourself. Since there’s a structural difference between your two feet, I would urge you to see a physio in any regard. I am now at 52 dealing with a host of issues related to postural and structural imbalances that were not addressed when I was younger. Prevention is the best cure!

    morganjonesc on #79638

    Thanks so much! I do regular strength work, with emphasis on balance and single leg exercises, but I will definitely add in those specifics. I make myself as educated as possible, being a lifelong competitive runner (disclaimer – my life time experience is only 26 years) and being invoked in medicine, but consulting a physio and coach would be beneficial. However, I’m a fourth year medical student and resource limited at the moment. As soon as I’m a practicing physician these are all things I plan on investing in.
    Thanks again!

    Jane Mackay on #79639

    It sounds like you’ve got a good handle on it and working with a coach and/or physio would give you the fine-tuning. I understand about the expense. One option to keep in mind is a one-off consultation with a UA coach to get a plan to work with in the interim.

    Another resource:
    This two-part series by Run the Wild on strengthening ankles:

    How to Strengthen Ankles Part 2

    Jane Mackay on #79640

    And just in case they’re useful, two on downhill running:

    Technique for Downhill Running

    Running Downhill

    morganjonesc on #79642

    These are great resources, I really appreciate it!

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