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    News — Swim

    Do you have Normal Functioning Ankles?

    Do you have Normal Functioning Ankles?

    Do You have Normal Functioning Ankles


    Do you have shin splints with running? What about knee or hip pain? Lower back pain? Maybe all of them!

    It really should be no surprise, running is freaking complicated! If you really analysis running, you never have both feet on the ground at the same time, when that one foot is in contact with the ground its roughly for 250 milliseconds. In that period of time you need to have harmonious strength, flexibility and correct firing patterns. A 10km run can see upwards of 10,000 steps.

    It would make sense if you are a runner you want your feet to function like feet, your ankles to function like ankles and your hips to function like hips.

    First off all what do I mean by your ankle function like an ankle.

    Can your ankle access the normal ranges of motion it should have or does it move more like it’s in a ski boot.

    One of the first things I check on all my runners is do they have the necessary dorsiflexion in their ankles.  Because if they don’t they are going to end up compensating somewhere else.

    Just imagine trying to run in ski boots!

    Go ahead and give the above test a try to see if your ankles function like ankles. What you want to do is keep your heel flat on the ground the entire time. When you bring your knee to the wall make sure it goes directly over your second and third toe. Don’t try to cheat by having your foot collapse in or turning your shoulders. The furthest your can get your big toe from the wall without the heel lifting up is your score. I like to see runners at least 4” from the wall.

    Blog By: Dr. Wes 

    Stop Stretching Your Hamstrings Incorrectly


    In last week’s blog post I promised how to address stretching the hamstring portion of the Adductor Magnus (this is also how I have athletes stretch the other aspects of their hamstrings as well). I also accused the reader of incorrectly stretching their hamstrings.

    The hamstrings are an area a lot of people have problems with. A variety of lower back, pelvis, hip and knee issues can stem from dysfunctional hamstrings.

    The typical way to stretch the hamstrings looks something like lying on your back and using a stretching band to pull the leg as close to you as possible. There is also a huge misconception out there that when stretching your hamstrings you need to do so with a locked out knee, or its considered cheating. If you have the proper amount of flexibility in your hamstrings as well as in your nerves, then carry on stretching your hamstrings with a locked out knee. As you are unlikely to cause more harm then good with this variation of stretching.

    Unfortunately for the majority of people they aren’t even stretching their hamstring, they are instead stretching their sciatic nerve. And just incase you didn’t know stretching nerves is a really bad idea.


    When you go to perform the above described hamstring stretch or for that matter any variation of hamstring stretch, if you feel the stretch predominately in the back of the knee this is how you know you aren’t stretching the hamstrings and you are stretching your nerves.


    Easy! Simply bend the knee just enough so you no longer feel the stretch in the back of knee and instead somewhere just beneath your glutes to the top of knee. And over time as you begin to increase your range of motion you can slowly start to straighten the knee, always using the rule of not feeling the stretch in the back of the knee.


    Congrats! But I can guarantee, you can’t actually control those ranges. Next week I will address how I teach my athletes to control their hamstring range of motion and why it typically ends up with them cursing my name in the process!