the 3 and a 1/2 lower-body stretches you aren’t doing
While the debate continues on as to whether stretches mainly affect/target muscles or fascia, are better placed before and/or after training, I think many of us would agree that Ultimate players would benefit from feet that are stronger and more flexible / “mostable” — mobile & stable as some would put it.
But what can we do beyond tennis balls / lacrosse balls or, as Sockeye-Taylor suggested in a previous post-comment, frozen golf balls?
Here are 3… and a 1/2 lower-body, foot/ankle complex targeted stretches you probably aren’t doing. (If you are, kudos, let us know what else we could be doing =)
1. Stretch your plantar fascia / aponeurosis by pullin’ on yer toes
Cleats often keep your feet immobile, or otherwise stress your foot/ankle complex in unexpected ways. Not to mention that from the tensegrity anatomy train perspective, your plantar fascia / aponeurosis literally connects up through your superficial back line to the lower-parts of your posterior chain that give many Ultimate athletes problems on and off- the field.
2. Stretch your soleus — the /other/ calf muscle
Ah, deep soleus! Oft forgotten, in contrast to the more superificial “gastroc” above.
Google soleus stretch for plenty of help.
3. Mobility work for your ankle complex, specifically a mild open-close stretch for the space between your talus and calcaneus.
See the video description here at UltiTraining: Ultimate Ankle Strength.
Finally, the last stretch really isn’t a stretch as just a reminder to do SMR / soft tissue work for the topside of your foot! If you need it, but I definitely needed it after this last club season…
So, what are you doin’, get yer shoes off and stretch those smotherfrictioned feet =)