Rest Day, Ankle Conditioning and Commitment

by on Dec.19, 2009, under Rest day

Rest Day!

So while I was doing the posted WOD two days ago (the 21-15-9 of precisions, double unders and pull ups) I completely bailed on the third precision of my first set of 21. It brought to mind two things:

Ankle Conditioning. This is extremely important in parkour. You MUST have strong ankles. There are several ways to achieve this, but I’m only going to talk about the two I think are most important.

1. Strength training. Strength training, specifically weight lifting, has been proven to increase bone density. When your bones are more dense, i.e. thicker, they are stronger. If you don’t believe me, believe the Mayo Clinic. By performing heavy weighted movements, such as the squat, deadlift, weighted pistols and clean and jerks, you will increase your bone density in your lower body. It should be obvious that the stronger your bones are, the more difficult it will be to injure them.

2. Conditioning your tibialis anterior and calf muscles. The goal of any traceur is not to land on the heel or midsole of the foot if at all possible. You should always try to land on the balls of your feet. By doing this, you are distributing the force of the impact up through your musculature instead of you skeletal system. As I’m sure you’re aware, muscles are more elastic than bones. They can distribute force better and with less injury. In order to properly condition your tibialis anterior (the front muscle on your shin) and your calf, all you need to know are toe and heel raises. You can do these at home, in school or even waiting in line at the grocery store. Here is an awesome video showing how to properly condition your ankles:

When I bailed I was jumping six feet across and up about half a foot to land on a ledge. I half-assed the movement, for whatever reason, and my back foot landed sideways, with the outside edge bent inwards and impacted the ledge. Needless to say, this hurt. Luckily I was able to walk it off and complete the workout. I believe that I did not hurt myself solely because of the ankle conditioning mentioned above. But this brings up something that I wanted to talk about.

This isn’t about a relationship or a loan term. It is about committing yourself to every move you do, no matter how small. Not only is this the smartest thing to do for your physiological health, but also as it helps you to build that internal discipline necessary to become better at parkour.

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