Happy ankles mean happy trail runners. We need strong, fast, quick, and versatile feet and ankles in order to adapt to various terrain and trail conditions. But if we don’t take care of them, we risk chronic and long-term injuries. Alex Ackerley from Nexus Fit in Squamish, B.C. trains many endurance trail athletes and understands the keys to preventing these injuries. He believes the root cause can be from sub-optimal movements in our ankles.
Poor ankle mobility and strength, specifically poor dorsiflexion (the movement of the foot upward) can cause our knees, hips, and back to compensate. Poor dorsiflexion also means a runner is less likely to be activating their glute muscles, which can cause hamstring stress. Even if you are running pain free, these moves can help prevent potential injury.