Why Foot and Ankle Mobility Is A Must for CrossFit Athletes

Why Foot and Ankle Mobility Is A Must for CrossFit Athletes


A good foundation is key to successful training, and one area athletes often overlook or dismiss in importance are the feet and ankles. In my experience, most individuals have poor ankle mobility which manifests itself most frequently in a lack of dorsiflexion, and complaints of stiff or tight ankles and often corresponding knee pain.  

Ankle mobility is crucial to so many movements in life, from walking and running to lunges and squat mechanics.  They all require dorsal flexion.  If your foot and ankle can't provide that to you, you can be sure your body WILL find a way to get a movement done through compensation and we all know what that leads to!  Poor posture, poor mechanics in movement and overtime PAIN! (think toes turned out, and knees falling in for example)

The foot and ankle complex is an often overlooked and under addressed area in posture, injury prevention and improving athletic performance.  When the foot or ankle joint is out of position, it's function is compromised which can cause a myriad of misalignment in the muscles and joints above.

In order to perform activities of daily living and athletic pursuits without repetitive stress or pain, an athlete needs strong and flexible feet, ankles, and calves to provide both full range of motion AND a stable base to move from.  

You may not be aware of how important foot and ankle mechanics are to your overall posture and performance.  If you have chronic lower back, hip, knee or ankle/foot pain issues like plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, neuromas this mobility and corrective exercise session IS FOR YOU!  [To learn more see The Foot and Ankle Connection to Low Back Pain]

Mobilizing the feet and ankles has multiple benefits for all human beings let alone CrossFit athletes.   

This month (April 2017) the Mobility and Corrective Exercise class at CrossFit 5885 (Saturday mornings from  10:00 am - 11:00 am) will focus and teach you how to identify and address dysfunction and compensations in foot position, how to mobilize fascial restrictions and help rebalance muscles in the tissues surrounding the Foot and Ankle.  

Over the month I'll teach you:

  •  how to assess for current range of motion (and how to re-test to check for improvements)
  • how to mobilize the tissues around the feet, ankles and calves
  • two simple stretches and 
  • time permitting, easy to do at-home or pre-WOD Corrective Exercises to stabilize and improve postural and dynamic  muscle imbalances around the foot/ankle complex.


We'll be using a 

  • double lacrosse ball taped together (like a peanut)
  • single lacrosse ball
  • yoga block 
  • yoga strap  
  • yoga mat 

If you own any of those pieces of equipment, please bring them along to class.  

Remember, addressing your muscle and joint balance and function is important for all human beings, not just CrossFit  or recreational athletes.  The activities you do the most (sitting, working at a computer with your head forward and using a mouse or texting) creates your day-to day posture habits and function.  Repetitive stress of these daily postures DEMANDS that muscle and joint imbalances be corrected BEFORE you take that posture into repetitive strength building movements that require excellent body position and human kinematics.

Come and undo the damage from faulty form/bad technique and poor/incorrect posture and learn how to do some basic maintenance and repair work on your beautiful self.  I hope you can make it!

This class is open to both CrossFit 5885 members and the public.

To attend, simply purchase a 10 class punch pass (come on in early, and we can help you before class starts).  Punch passes include CrossFit WODs, CrossFit Swimming, Spin class, Barbell Club, Yoga for Athletes AND the Mobility and Corrective Exercise class.

Questions?  Please contact Deb.  Hope to see you there!


Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Head Photo Credit:  Melissa Thome Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.   You can follow Deb on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram