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  • Closed and Open Chain, The Ankle

    Posted by Max on March 29, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    The ankle is a very interesting and controversial topic for many people in the health and exercise industry. Some people believe the big toe is used for power, while others may believe the outside edge of the foot near the fifth metatarsal is used for power. The information provided in this post is to educate on logic and hard facts. Let’s dive in and see what we know about the foot and how to take care of it.

    The foot and ankle complex has thirty-three joints. Now, let’s take a logical approach to the concept of a joint. In the most basic principles, if you don’t use it, you lose it! For example, if I had a cast on my elbow for a year or two straight, obviously, that specific arm would be weaker than the other. Why? Because the joint is stagnant, and without movement, our body cannot get stronger. With that being said, we need to make sure that all thirty-three joints in the foot stay active throughout our lives. You may ask, how exactly do we access all thirty-three joints? This question obviously has multiple answers.

    One way we can make sure to access multiple parts of the ankle is in the open chain. The open chain is when a body part does not have to bear weight. For example, when I stand, my hands are in an open chain environment. But, if I do a pushup, my hands are in a closed chain environment. Now, working the ankles in an open chain results in exercises like ankle circles or gas pedal movements; these exercises can help loosen up the ankle, and there is no doubt. But what happens when I bear weight on my foot? What joints are being utilized, then?

    When entering a closed chain environment with the foot, we need to understand exactly how the foot reacts to pressure in all ways. We know the foot has an arch, and we know arches are not supposed to collapse; if they were supposed to, bridges would not work, and engineers would not be very smart. Logically, it would make sense to have an extremely strong arch shape to the foot because it is the first, and a lot of times, the only part of our body that makes contact with the ground as we move. We can build this strong shape by using a flossing technique, either using both feet or in a split stance with support to start out. Ask a coach about adding the Ankle floss exercises to your routine if you wish to learn more about it.

    With thirty-three and more than one hundred muscles, the foot needs serious attention as we exercise. Taking care of the body physically, in relation to connective tissue, starts with the foot. Understanding the structure of the foot and learning to move every single joint is key to its health. If you are interested in learning more about the foot and the arch that supports our body, check out The Golden Foot post.

    Max replied 1 year ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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