Balance Series for Hip Stability & Ankle Mobility | ft. Billy Edelen
Balance is a fundamental component of training that is often overlooked. Building solidarity and grounding our energy through the feet in all different planes helps a number of areas of our body. It builds the intrinsic muscles of the feet, increases ankle mobility and stability of the hip, while keeping the center off gravity strong over the feet.
In the accompanying video I use a balance board to change the orientation of my foot to target my foot in different ranges of motion. This changes the angle of my ankle. I cover three movements of the foot below that I find essential. Notice I didn't cover plantar flexion (toes pointing as calf flexes) or inversion (think sprained ankle) because these are positions most people are prone to being in.
The goal of this training is that when we're on level ground our foot is prepared for terrain changes and will have strength in these different ranges of motion.
We're developing more ankle mobility by taking our joint to these different end ranges. By using an active contraction of our tibialis anterior of the shin we train our neural strength and control of this end range so that we can move our ankle actively into these different ranges. This also builds well-rounded hip stability because the different foot angles while balancing on one leg target the hip in different way.
Weight through all 4 corners of foot
Actively engage shin muscle
Lengthened through crown of head
Glutes engaged to extend hips and stand straight
Shoulders down and away from ears
Elbows in tight
Prayer hands push strongly into one another
Can also make fists near hips to irradiate tension and stability throughout rest of the body
Step on board where pinky toe side is higher vertically than the big toe side
Shortens ankle/shin angle on pinky toe side
Have foot positioned on board where toes are higher vertically than the heel
You should feel stretch in calf and back of leg
Engage the shin muscle (tibialis anterior) to actively pull toes toward shin
This trains active control of foot and lower leg
Combination of previous two
Prescription for Balance Training
Incorporate this balance series after preparatory core stability work. This is a great way to begin your training session before dealing with heavy weights or intense training. You will find your footing more firm, and everything athletically and in daily life comes from the ground up. 3 to 5 minutes a day will go a long way. This is minimal investment for big pay off!