Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Ankle

The ankle is the bridge between the foot and lower leg. The surface below the foot is constantly changing, and the feet need to adapt immediately on contact to any surface, be it the foot bar of the Reformer, the pedal of the Wunda Chair, or the floor. Normal activity of the ankle includes flexion and extension, with other movements happening in the joints of the feet. The action of the feet directly affect the ankle and lower leg.

The ankle is composed of the distal tibia, distal fibula and the top of the talus. Inversion and eversion (winging in and out) of the foot influence the ankle and lower leg, with the muscles of the lower leg affecting the foot and ankle.

Pronation and suppination (rolling in and out) occur in the subtalar joint, not in the foot. However, many of the movements of the foot and ankle happen in conjunction with one another.

As we age, the ankle joint looses flexibility and strength. It is our job to improve mobility, while increasing strength to promote proprioception, balance, and better gait patterns.

Try these exercises to strengthen and improve flexibility in your feet and ankles:

Standing Exercises

Releve Heel Lowers (rising up to the toes, and lowering the heels) with Straight Legs.* This exercise strengthens the gastrocnemius (plantar flexor).
Releve Heel Lowers with Bent Legs.*
Releve Heel Lowers on One Leg.*
* Plantar Flexion and Extension.
Toe Raises: Dorsi Flexion with digital flexion.

Wunda Chair

Sitting on the Wunda Chair with feet on the pedal. Execute the footwork on the heels, arches, toes, wide on the heels, and finally with flexion and extension of the ankle while the legs are held still at 90 degrees of flexion at the hip and knee.
Footwork: Plantar and Dorsi Flexion.
Ankle Flexion and Extension Footwork: this exercises strengthens the soleus muscle (plantar flexor). The gastrocnemius is loose at the knee during this exercise and is unable to assist.

Magic Circle

Sit on a chair or stool with knees bent, feet on floor. Place the magic circle in three positions in between the legs.
Legs (above knee, below knee, above ankles): This assists with inversion and eversion.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Congratulations to Canadians!

8 Pilates Core Integration Mat Certification students successfully passed their Mat Certification this last week. Congratulations to all!

Five of those students have moved on to take the Level I teacher training. You are all awesome. Nice work this last weekend.

See you in October. Thanks to Jana Danielson and Lead Pilates.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Anatomy in Clay Workshop

Moving Breath Pilates and Pilates Core Integration is offering a two day Anatomy in Clay course. Learn to build the major muscles of the body and how they apply to movement. August 25, 26, 2010. An exciting experience.