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    Anatomy 101 – The Ankle

    June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Anatomy 101 – The Ankle

This July we are focusing on a joint rather than a muscle – The Ankle. The ankle plays an important role in knee and foot health. If you are an athlete that is prone to ankle injury or foot pain, listen up!

Together the foot and the ankle are comprised of more than two dozen bones and 3 joints. The ankle absorbs all the pressure of the body with each step you take, no matter the terrain. More than 9 million Americans sprain their ankle each year. Most injuries occurring between the ages of 15 and 24 and rarely do they every fully heal – leading to long term mobility and stability issues. The good news? There’s yoga and FMS for that!

With the help of the Yoga Journal, we can get to know the bones:

Tibia (Shin Bone) The larger of the two bones that make up the lower leg
Fibula The thinner, smaller bone on the outside of the lower leg
Calcaneus The heel bone
Talus A wedge-shaped bone of the ankle joint that is located between the heel bone and the fibula and tibia; it forges a connection between the leg and the foot, aiding in ankle movements and helping maintain balance when weight is transferred from the ankle to the leg
Metatarsals A set of five long bones in the mid-foot that connect the ankle to the toe
Tarsals A set of seven hind- and mid-foot bones that exist to help bear weight; two of the most notable tarsals are the navicular and cuboid bones
Navicular A boat-shaped bone on the inner foot that creates the foot’s arch and assists with weight distribution
Cuboid A cube-shaped bone that connects and provides stability to the outer foot and ankle

And, the joints: 

Talocrural The technical term for the ankle joint, which is the point where the tibia, fibula, and talus meet
Transverse tarsal joint Where the talus, calcaneus, navicular, and cuboid bones meet
Subtalar joint Where the talus and calcaneus meet

The ankle has six different movements available to it:

1. Dorsiflexion: the top of the foot moves toward the knee
2. Plantar flexion: the sole of the foot moves toward the calf
3. Eversion: the outside of the ankle moves toward your hip
4. Inversion: the inside of your ankle moves toward your groin
5. Abduction: a movement at the ankle causing the toes to move away from the body
6. Adduction: a movement at the ankle resulting in the toes moving in toward the midline

Fun fact: When you combine dorsiflexion, eversion, and abduction, your foot pronates; when you combine plantar flexion, inversion, and adduction, your foot supinates.

So, how does this apply to you? We want you to keep your ankles healthy by getting on your mat with us. If you haven’t done your FMS screen yet, do it! If you have, work the exercises so they can work for you. Need a little more? Get on your mat with these poses to strengthen the ankle.

  1. Tree Pose
  2. Hero Pose
  3. Staff Pose: w/ namaste feet + reverse namaste feet (lateral flexion and extension)
  4. Calf Raise

You can find all these postures in a number of our classes this month. Let’s sweat + shavasana together!

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