Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flexible Feet

Loose ankles are a huge part of swimming.  If you've got relaxed ankles your legs will kick easily through the water like a fish, generating  forward momentum.  But if you've got tight, stiff ankles, like a LOT of runners do, your feet can actually "cup" the water and move you backwards, even when you are trying so so hard to move the opposite direction!

To promote efficiency in your kick, take the time to loosen your ankles before a workout.  

1.  While you are watching television or lounging around the house, try sitting on your ankles.  Kneel down and lay the tops of your feet on the ground, then sit back and let your feet extend, point and stretch out.  Then sit up and move your ankles with your hands in all directions getting them loose and mobile.  Do this nightly and you will be on track for better ankle movement.

2.  Before a workout, sit at the side of the pool with your legs in the water and spell out the alphabet with your toes.  Try upper case, lower case, cursive.  Just use your feet like you would your hands with a pencil.  Spell out your name, your plans for the day, whatever you like.  All you need is that circular up-and-down movement to loosen those muscles and you'll be on your way to your next swim PR! 

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