SANTA CLARA, California, November 1. DR. G John Mullen's Dryland Tip this week features a simple way to increase range of motion in your ankles. This helps during flutter and dolphin kicking.
Purpose: Improving ankle range of motion is essential for decreasing drag in swimming. If a swimmer has limited plantarflexion (ankle pointing), their feet act like an anchor and create excess drag during flutter and dolphin kick. The anterior tibialis is the primary muscle limiting ankle plantar flexion. If this muscle is tight, it can prevent ankle pointing.
Directions: Start in the Tebowing position (half kneeling), with a tennis or baseball underneath the leg on the ground. While holding onto a table or bench, slowly roll the external device on the outside aspect of the shin (anterior tibialis).
Perform for 2 — 3 minutes and move slowly over areas which are tender.
G. John Mullen is the owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration and creator of Swimming Science. He received his doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal.