Runners often point their toes down when planting their foot, which is not correct form, according to Randy Hadley, U.S. Olympic Track and Field coach. "Proper running technique is having your foot in the dorsiflexed position," he says, which is attained by contracting the shin muscles.
The lower phase of the Squat and Leg Press also require dorsiflexion flexibility. And if you have ankle and foot dorsiflexion inflexibility, your running and lifting technique can be affected, which can lead to plantar fascitis, a swelling of the thick tissue on your foot.
To strengthen and promote flexibility in the area, perform the following exercise:
• Sit at Tibia/Dorsi Flexion machine and lock foot under pad
• Perform as many fast twitch reps as possible while holding proper dorsiflexion form
Variation: If machine is not available, perform movement lying on your back
Sets/Reps: 2x10 seconds each leg
Coaching Points: Start with no weight and build your way up to a lighter weight // Keep foot and tibia area engaged throughout exercise
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock