Volleyball Ankle Mobility Drills

Volleyball ankle mobility, barefoot training, and tips for strengthening ankles.

Volleyball Ankle Strengthening Tips

Mobility at the ankle joint is especially important for our knees and low back.

If we get our ankles more mobile, we move better and feel better.

Volleyball ankle mobility is important for transferring forces and absorbing forces more efficiently.

Six Techniques for Improving Ankle Mobility

Drill #1 Move straight forward tracking knee over foot.

Start by planting your foot and squaring up your hips and pelvis.

Keep heel planted.

Show heel coming up (poor volleyball ankle mobility).

Move knee and body forward while keeping the foot and heel flat.

Keep the knee over the foot.

Drill #2 Work it to the outside and inside.

Keep the heel flat during the movement.

Keep heel flat while moving in and out.

Drill #3 Foot is in eversion while working it.

Wear shoes to provide a more stable base.

Move straight forward. You'll notice range of motion is more limited while working in 3 dimensions.

Drill #4 Foot is in inversion while working it.

Put shoes on to help with support.

Range of motion is really limited.

Keep shin in neutral.

Drill #5 Band resisted ankle mobilization.

This gives more range of motion for volleyball ankle mobility.

You can see that the range of motion has increased.

Drill #6 Band Tractioning.

The set up for the exercise...

Make sure the shoe is on really tight.

Drape the band over the top of the shoe.

Feed the band into itself.

So now you have one knot on the right side of the foot. Take one of the bands and wrap it around the ankle. Now the first band is done.

Now, take another band and do the same thing on the left side of the foot. So now you have a band off of each side of the foot.

Pull toe straight back and release. After awhile, start making circles. Use the heel of the foot as the pivot point.

Do for 2 to 3 minutes per foot.

This exercise can be great from increasing blood flow and opening up the ankle.

Also, this exercise actively engages the foot while using traction.

Be sure to use the heel as the pivot point and work about 2 to 3 minutes a foot.

6 Mobility Techniques Video

Barefoot Training

Maintain "tripod foot" while training.

A strong stable foot will improve your mechanics throughout your body.

Tripod foot essentially means 3 points of contact through your foot.

First metatarsal head, fifth metatarsal head, and your heel. In a perfect world, we stay balanced through these three points.

When someone over pronates (roles to the inside), too much weight is carried on the first metatarsal and heel and not enough on the other point.

When someone supinates too hard, too much weight is on the heel and 5th metatarsal.

Ideally, you want to maintain tripod foot during all your volleyball strength training exercises. When squatting, deadlifting, single leg exercises, etc you want to maintain tripod foot.

This will make you more stable from the ground up and improve performance.

When you take your shoes off and train barefoot, you'll find that it's difficult to balance without shoes.

Performing exercises barefoot will increase mobility and stability in your feet.

You can really open up your ankle if you get out of thick soled shoes.

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Ankle Mobility Drills Volleyball

Which needs to be stronger, your foot or your footwear?

A weak foot and a locked up ankle CAN'T be mobile. Ankle braces won't let you train stability and mobility. Braces keep you locked out.

This splinting of the ankle forces the knee to take on all the mobility that was meant for the ankle.

Therefore, avoid splint-type ankle braces. If you feel you have to wear a brace, go with a softer lace up brace. It might not protect the ankle as much as a splint, but a softer brace protects the knee much more.

If possible, do all non-volleyball court training barefoot or in barefoot shoes. This lets your foot and ankle strengthen.

Knees should be trained for stability, ankles and hips for mobility.

A weak foot and stiff ankle may sustain some injuries from a quick twist, but I'm sure I'd much rather deal with a sprained ankle than a torn ACL.

› Volleyball Ankle Mobility