Why having stiff ankles can affect your field performance? 

Lionville Soccer Club – Vipers

When you think of flexibility, you don’t usually think of ankles. Everyone’s go-to is the classic sit-and-reach!

Here’s how we measure our ankle flexibility standards:

  • What causes it?
    • Lack of ankle flexibility usually is due to stiffness in your calves and shin muscles.
      • This is a caused by repetitive movements from movement in sport
      • Another cause would be lack of movement due to sitting/restrained movement.
    • It can also be caused by a previous ankle injury, which is a very common injury for soccer players.

  • Why is it important?
    • Your ankle is the first joint that absorbs shock, so you need to have good flexibility in order to perform at your best!
    • Having good ankle flexibility helps prevent injury, allowing athletes to play and work out confidently.

  • What are we doing to combat it?

          Here is what we are specifically doing with Lionville Soccer Vipers U17 Boys. 

  • For athletes that need to work on their ankle mobility, we provide both ankle strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • Many athletes that struggle with ankle mobility specifically struggle keeping their heels on the ground while squatting. To help combat this issue, we have these athletes use what is called a slant board. This puts their heels on an incline so they are able to squat lower, without their heels coming off the floor.
  •  Slant boards allow these athletes to build their strength while maintaining their form.
  • Stretches and strengthening exercises such as ankle rocks can help increase flexibility in the ankle joint.

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