How to assess the strength and mobility of your ankles? The ankle joint is really important both at a sporting level and at the level of health. However, both their training and evaluation are often evaded.
This joint is capable of having a great influence on your balance since if there is instability and lack of strength in the ankle, the rest of the muscular and osteo-articular structures will also be affected.
In addition, as in any joint, it is essential that there are adequate mobility parameters: neither excessive mobility, nor very restricted mobility. Both situations can lead to problems such as injuries or falls, so to prevent or treat an ankle injury it is necessary to evaluate the strength and mobility of the ankle.
How to assess the strength of the ankle?
When evaluating the strength of the ankle it is necessary to quantify it in some way. That is why within scientific research a dynamometer is used for this purpose (1). This device is an instrument used to measure forces, and in the ankle joint it is used to measure the force of the following movements.
- Plantar flexion.
- Dorsal flexion.
Since it has been shown that there are strength deficits during the plantar flexion movement,it is important to pay attention to this movement mainly performed by the triceps sural.
It is true that not everyone has access to this device so the following test can also help you assess the strength of this muscles.
Test to evaluate the strength of your ankles
- Stand in front of a wall or chair barefoot.
- Then rest your hands on the wall or chair and lift one foot off the floor.
- Now, perform a plantar flexion so that the heel rises from the ground and your body moves upwards.
- Then descend slowly (2-3 seconds) and do not touch the ground with your heel.
- The moment you do not follow the above premises, stop the test and write down the number of repetitions of the test on both feet.
- You should be able to perform 20-25 repetitions. If you perform the test correctly, it is likely that you will feel fatigued muscles.
How to assess the mobility of the ankle?
One of the main and most common limitations in the ankle joint is the lack of dorsal flexion that causes greater risk of injury and falls,since you need an optimal range of mobility to keep the bone and joint structures aligned correctly.
To be able to assess the mobility of the dorsal flexion of the foot-ankle follow the following steps:
- Standing, in front of a wall and barefoot, he advances the leg of the ankle in which mobility is going to be measured.
- Place your foot near the wall in a neutral position.
- Then you should keep in mind that the heel should not be lifted from the ground.
- Move forward with the knee to touch the wall in a straight line without bringing the knee inward.
- The back leg can be moved as well as the foot. Keep the trunk straight without flexing your hip.
- Once you find the point where you can touch the wall as far away as possible, and keeping the previous steps, measure the distance in centimeters.
- Normality values are around 11 cm. You will notice differences between both feet in addition to the likely that you will not reach the normal values.
The assessment of the strength and mobility of an ankle is really important in any training. Think, that if this joint lacks it will seriously affect your joint health before or after, since you use the ankle for countless actions.