By Orla Magorrian, Head Physiotherapist at Functional Training Ireland;
A lot of our clients here at FTI will be participating in the upcoming marathons in Berlin , Dublin , New York and have got to the end of they’re training plans injury free. To make sure all the boxes are ticked, here are a couple of stretches for the Tibialis Anterior Muscle (Tib Ant) and soft tissue structures around the foot/ankle.
During a marathon you will take between 35- 45, 000 steps depending on stride length. The Tib Anterior muscle (and other dorsi flexors) control lowering of the foot to the ground and contact of that foot with the ground until you push off it, much like a pulley rope. So it works hard; Muscle fibres will swell and the fascial layers surrounding the muscle & between the fibres will get stuck. The muscle will continue to work but not at 100%.
The Calf muscle works oppositely to the Tib Anterior, so it will absorb the force of your body weight hitting the ground through the foot. It will work harder to help out the Tib Ant.
Mobilising one pulley rope will free up the other so if you feel your calves are really tight and you are stretching loads and rolling but still feel ‘something’ is there give these stretches a go.
PS – anyone who lifts or sprints multi multi-directionally will find these useful
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