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Full Leg Movement Exercises


Hey, thank you for coming in and seeing me this week regarding the pain that you’ve been having. As promised, I’m gonna send you a link to a lacrosse ball, a foam roller, and some insoles for your shoes. If we can change your movement pattern by loosening of the muscles and the tendons in the legs, we can help cure the pain and hopefully get you back on track on getting the best out of your fitness training.

So what we’re gonna do…we’re gonna start with doing some rolling techniques and we’re going to start with the lacrosse ball. The program is gonna begin at the feet and then we’re gonna work our way up the legs to get the best chance of getting them loose so then your body can start moving properly and without the pain. So with the lacrosse ball, what we’re going to do, first of all, we’re going to stand on the ball, put a decent amount of force. And you can hold onto a wall to help you with this at first. And we’re just gonna roll up and down that ball, pushing fairly hard into it.

Now, what we found is that we were pronating with our feet. Now, that was a tight fascia on the bottom of foot. Now when it gets tight on the bottom our foot, that’s gonna collapse the arch and then you get that rolled in sort of look, okay? When you get that rolled in look, the muscles in the shins, the calves, the outside of the legs all have to work hard to try and get your legs into a good posture. So always start with the feet. We’re gonna do that by supporting them with good trainers. No flip flops, as I said. And also supportive insoles, okay.

Spend one to two minutes rolling that lacrosse ball on the bottom of the foot, pushing down as hard as you can. A couple of ups and downs, a couple of side-to-sides, making sure you get the whole range, aiming for those tight points. What’s gonna be tight is gonna be on the inside of our arch there. So spend some good time pushing down, rolling around in there, okay? So after a couple of minutes rolling around on the foot, we are gonna come on to the shin and the calf area.

So sticking with the lacrosse ball, what we’re gonna do…I’ll come down to the ground and show. We’re going to really work on this posterior tibialis. And this muscle was really, really tight when we were working on here. So with the lacrosse ball, what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna mimic the sports massage that we had by loosening up this muscle. Now this posterior tibialis, it attaches your knee, goes all the way down the inside of your shin and then wraps round the arch. So what’s happening is because your feet are dropping in, this muscle’s working too hard because it’s trying to stabilize that foot. So we need to loosen that off.

So the way we’re gonna do that is in a seated position, you’re just gonna grab the lacrosse ball, push it hard into it–so find the shin bone, roll slightly off it–and then push the ball hard in and just do some circles. Now, I wanna see some movement in the skin. So the bigger the circles, the better. The harder you can push, the better. Now, you’re just gonna spend a good amount of time, a good couple of minutes each day, you can do this every day, working all the way up that posterior tibialis muscle finding the tight areas. So spend some more time on those tighter areas. It’s gonna be a little bit lower on you, on the shin there. Just push and work your way into there and that is gonna be a fantastic way of loosening off that, which is gonna give your body the best chance of not dropping in and keep this ab nice and stable.

Okay, so moving on, we come on to the calves. And with the foam roller, what we’re gonna do, you’re gonna place that foam roller right at the bottom of the calf at first. So near the heel of the foot. To get extra pressure in your foam roller, you can cross your leg over and push down with that leg hard into it. And another way is to lift the hips off the floor. Now, for the length of time we’re gonna be doing this, it’s quite hard to keep your hips up off of the floor all the time. So by keeping some good pressure into your legs, that’s gonna be the best way to do it is whilst still seated.

So what we’re gonna do then is just come side to side, rolling side-to-side on the foam roller, putting as much pressure on it as you can trying to roll out those tight muscles. As you can see, when you come onto the inside, you’re coming back on to that posterior tibialis that was tight. And just keep…pause it there. Don’t rush this. So for all side-to-sides, the harder you can push down into it, the more you can tolerate, the better. And this is again, like having a sports massage, it’s going to pull those tight muscle fibers on the calf around and just help them loosen up, okay?

So spend a couple of minutes going from side to side. You’re then going to find the tightest area you can. It might be on the outside, it might be on the inside. And now I just want you to type the alphabet out with your foot. So just type the big “A”, big capital letters, “B”, “C”. The reason we type the alphabet out is it gives you all angles of your foot. Now if we can improve the mobility in your foot, you’re running style’s gonna be better, your training style’s gonna be better. And that’s going to help you out with your jumping and any type of exercise that you’re gonna be doing without causing pain in the leg, okay?

So then we’re gonna roll that up into the middle of the calf and then do exactly the same thing. Two minutes of side-to-sides, making sure you get the fullest range possible and as deep in there as possible and then type that alphabet out. And then finally, right at the top of the calf, side-to-sides for a couple of minutes, and then type that alphabet out, okay? So that’s the calf and the posterior tibialis. We’re actually gonna roll the shin muscle out on this foam roller as well. By rolling the shin muscles out, again, this outside of your leg was working too hard because of that pronation, okay? So we need to loosen up everything on the outside here too.

So what we’re going to do with the foam roller, I just want you to place your shin on to it and then sit back into your foot, okay? Just going to do a couple of ups and downs, just rolling out that shin. So up, down, putting as much weight into it as you can. It’s really important you sit on your foot and you’re not up here doing it, okay? Sit right back and now stretch out that shin muscle and you can roll up and down there. And then into those side to sides again. Sit right into it, and then come over to the side. Sit right into it. Now, this bang in the middle of the shin and just keep that coming for, again, two minutes I want you to spend on the shins a just loosening them up. A really forgotten part to stretch, it’s quite difficult to stretch out. And that’s it and that will be really, really good for you.

Okay, so that’s the lower half of the leg. We’re going to move up onto the upper part of the leg. Everything’s connected, everything overlaps. So your calves overlap and attach up here and your hamstrings attach below the knee. Same with the quads, your shins attach above the knee, your quadriceps will attach below the knee. So they cross over, so it’s really important that you’re gonna work on the whole complex of the leg here if you’re gonna be pain-free and get that movement pattern right.

So, onto the leg. What we’re gonna do, I want you to have a lie down with this on the front of your leg. And actually lie down on the floor, don’t hold a plank, okay? I want you to put as much weight into the leg as possible. And then you are just going to come from side to side again. And have the roller quite near to the knee at first, the little pocket above the knee. And just spend two minutes coming side to side again and then after two minutes of that, we’re gonna bend and straighten the knee for another two minutes, okay? So, I mean, the program is fairly long at first but I want you to just spend some time, certainly in the early stages of this, really focusing on getting some good time in.

So take a half-hour out of your day to get this leg rolled out. And I promise you, you could be pain-free within a week. You can do it, if you perform these exercises enough, okay? So after near the knee, same as what we did on the calf. Roll up, do the same thing. Side-to-sides, rolling out the tight fascia around the leg. This is pretty uncomfortable but it has to be if we’re gonna help loosen up all those muscle fibers, which is gonna give you the best movement pattern possible. That’s good. So a couple minutes of side-to-sides, lie flat again, and then start to bend and straighten that knee, okay? And that’s gonna be really good at loosening off those quadriceps which are, again, working too hard because of the pronation in the feet.

All right, after that, turn onto the side of the leg. IT bands, the most common thing that people roll out but they do it wrong. A lot of people just come up and down. You’re not going to stretch out your IT bands like that. So come bang into the middle of your IT band. Again, this side-to-side motion is so much better for peeling those muscle fibers off and making sure that you’re going to get the most out of your rolling. So spend a couple of minutes on the side of your leg there rolling that out. So that’s it for the roller and the lacrosse ball.

There are few stretches that I want you to do as well. And you can do these stretches at any time. So first of all, we’re gonna start off with the shin muscles in this posterior tibialis. And you’re just going to push your toes into the ground, so just curl them over. Get out of the way pooch. So, and then just push your ankle forward. So in this case, so start in this position and push the ankle forward. Again, increasing the mobility of this part is really good in your running phase for pushing off. It’s part of your running phase, and the better you can get that position, the more powerful you’re gonna be, the quicker you can be, and all that movement’s gonna turn into really good fitness training, which can help you improve quickly.

So spend a good 30 seconds just pushing your ankle forward. And you can do this in a cube, or anywhere. Or anywhere you’re standing up, just get into this stretch. Spend a minute or two just stretching out your shin muscles there. It’s gonna really help open up the ankle joint and give you the best chance of being strong in your posture rather than having it all drop in like this, okay? So after doing the shins, we’re gonna come into what I like to call couch stretches because you can do this on your sofa at home.

First of all, if you’re ever sitting down for more than two minutes I want you in the stretch. What we’re gonna do, we’re gonna come into a figure four position, which is really good at opening up the glutes. Now, one of the reasons that we pronate is because our glutes aren’t firing. So everything drops in because we’re not engaging, okay? If you can squeeze your bum muscles, automatically it puts your spine in a better place, squeezing your bum muscles puts your spine in a better place. It puts your legs in a better place, too.

So everything works from this area. So if we can do everything, every exercise to tense the glutes, that’s gonna get you in a better position, that’s gonna help prevent any injuries in the future, okay? So the way we can engage the glutes is by stretching them out. So come into this figure four position, ease that knee down, okay? And just start to lean forward and hold it in that position, okay? Now you can go hunting for the tighter areas. You might be leaning towards the knee that’s tighter, you might be leaning towards the foot. Find it and stick with it, okay?

I want you to spend two minutes per leg just stretching this out every day, every time you’re sitting down for more than two minutes, get in this position. You can’t over stretch. The looser those glutes, the more they’ll be able to fire up. The better your squats will be, the better you’re running will be, the better your training will be. So it’s well, well worth it to spend a good couple of minutes on there.

Okay, the next one, come into a kneeling position. Take a big step forward and then I just want you to just push your hip into the ground, okay? But really fire it down. You’re gonna squeeze your bum muscles as tight as you can in that position to engage and that is gonna stretch out the front part of your hip. So the other one…we were stretching out the back part, this is stretching out the front part. All loosening off to help you get that posture right. Once again, it’s gonna help you train properly, okay? So keep squeezing that glute. And again, spend a couple of minutes in each of these stretches on both legs. Really, really important.

Another stretch I’ve got for you is called a towel stretch. We’re going to do…I want you to lie on your back and wrap the towel around the foot. Pull it hard down. So really pull down on it instead of pushing it into your chest. And then you’re gonna tense your thigh muscle as hard as you can and pull your foot as high as possible. Hold it there for just a couple of seconds and then bring it in again. Tense, hard as possible tense that thigh muscle, and then bring it down again. And just keep doing that for, again, two minutes per leg. Tense the thigh muscles so the leg locked because only coming to this angle is not good enough. Make sure you’re locking it straight, okay? And two minutes of just stretching out those hamstring. Which is so closely linked to those IT bands, it’s so closely linked to the shins, and so closely linked to that pronation in the feet.

So there’s your program. Ideally, certainly at first, I want you to do all of that. I want you to do it all every day. Now, I understand, that’s quite a long program. So if you are in a rush, just pick one, do it. And just if you’ve ever got a spare five minutes, get into a stretch. Or spend 10 minutes and get on the roller. The more you do of it, the less pain you’re gonna be in, the more we can progress and get on with your training and get great results. Okay? Keep in touch.

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