Body Rolling: Feet and Lower Legs
This is the lowest area of the body bearing all of your bodyweight. This area requires many repetitions performed slowly and deeply to loosen up years of myofascial adhesion, which cause limited flexibility and mobility in the ankle and surrounding muscle groups.
Muscle viscosity, due to myofascial adhesions, is one of the biggest issues affecting ankle alignment and tracking, not to mention Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints or calf pain or numbness.
Repeat many, many, many times to see change, especially when dealing with pain conditions from the feet up to the hips. Be patient when leaning the body into the ball or roller while breathing out slowly.
CAUTION: Do not do these exercises if you have pain bending or extending the ankles, knees or hips with bodyweight.
Use a Roller
Place the roller under the top of your shins, kneeling on it. With the toes tucked under, flex and extend the ankles, moving back and forward on the roller. Repeat a few times. Next, move the roller to just below the knees and be still while sinking down, slowly leaning left or right. Then roll down to the next spot towards the ankles and repeat the step above. Repeat for each spot until reaching the ankles.
Variation 1: roll one shin at a time.
Variation 2: extend toes backwards and extend ankles stretch.
Kneel on the roller close to your knees with your feet and ankles straight, be still while sinking down, slowly leaning left or right. Then move to the next spot and repeat the step above, moving from close to the knees down to the ankles.
Variation 1: roll one calf at a time.
Variation 2: use a narrower roller, to get closer to the knees.
Use a Lacrosse Ball
Warmup by stepping on the Lacrosse ball with the “ball of the foot” and the heel resting on the ground. Move from left to right with your weight on the ball counting 1-2-3 slowly from side-to-side.
Next place the ball under and between the two bones on the outside edge of the foot (4th & 5th Metatarsals). Try to keep the knee straight and the leg relaxed, use your hip and bodyweight to move forward and sink down, leaning left or right, sinking in for a couple of breaths. Then slowly roll the foot forward so the ball moves towards the heel and release each spot until reaching the heel.
Repeat between the next two bones (3rd and 4th), then the 2nd and 3rd and lastly between the 1st and 2nd.
Place the ball under the heel, with the toes on the ground, and work around the heel slowly and deeply.
Place the muscle just outside your shin bone (Tibialis Anterior) on the Lacrosse ball. Try to relax with the knee bent, ankle straight and the leg relaxed. Use your bodyweight to lean forward and sink down, or leaning left or right. Repeat each spot 2-3 breaths and slowly move towards the ankle.
Note: place a rolled towel under the ankle if the ankle feels over-stretched.