A joint often neglected is the ankle joint, reduced mobility in this joint can affect how you move, walk or run. Having the ability to complete a squat movement can be affected by the movement in your ankle joint. If you are having problems with your golf swing?... check your ankle mobility. It could be that you have lost motion over time, had an injury to the ankle at some stage. A sprained ankle is a common injury that people often just rest for recovery but could cause problems over time, if movement, strength and balance are not restored effectively. Your ankle motion can also disrupt your confidence as you may not feel quite the same walking or running on that ankle.
The ankle needs the help of the foot, lower leg, knee, hip and core to work efficiently, so never works alone. Knee or hip problems can affect the ankle, but the ankle may also be causing the problems at the knee and the hip if motion is compromised.
There are different exercise that can be used to restore motion or stability around the ankle joint including stretching, strengthening and mobility exercises. If its just an issue around the ankle joint then exercises like ankle rotations and heel raises will be a good idea. But if the way your foot connects with the floor and rolls through gait shows up other areas of the foot that may need attention like the mobility of your big toe, or how well your foot moves through pronation and supination, then different exercises would be required.
If we start looking further up the chain, at your rib cage, it may seem odd at the moment but your rib cage may work differently from one side to the other influenced by the way you breathe, which then may cause you to shift to one side, adapting a slightly different position on your right side compared to your left. Looking at your feet- in real terms it could show up as a left foot pronation with the foot also turning out more than your right and your right foot being more supinated and hence could affect your ankle motion, how you move, walk or run.
Here are some ankle and foot exercises that we may use in our classes. These exercises are for demonstration purposes only and may not be right for you to do.