Archive for the ‘hip flexors’ Category

The First of Many Ankle Sprains

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The first ankle sprain happened on a beam mount.  It was a jump to handstand off the spring board onto the end of the beam, walkover out.  I remember trying to keep from falling, but landing on the side of a hard 8-inch mat that was under the beam.  My ankle rolled hard and I felt the first of many ligament “pops” to come.  It swelled with a golf ball lump on the side of it right away, and I was told to get back up there and keep working out.

Today, I really believe that most ankle sprains are preventable.  This one, on the side of the mat,  probably was not.  I also believe that people should treat ankle sprains seriously and stay off of the leg and protect it right after the sprain.

A person may prevent ankle sprains by keeping the hip flexors adequately stretched out, the hip lateral rotators strong and the ankle dorsiflexion at full range of motion.   Most people sprain their ankles when their foot is pointed down (plantarflexed in an open-joint position) versus flexed and close-packed.  Most people sprain their ankles when their hip turn-out muscles are weak, allowing for the femur (thigh bone) to rotate inward and create that pointed foot/sprain action.  Many gymnasts who sprain their ankles (inversion sprains) have short hip flexor muscles and stand and move in lordosis (low back arch).

I had all of these problems.  I went on to sprain my ankles over a dozen times each. 

Hello! Welcome to The Posture Lady’s Blog

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Thank you to GymSmarts” Tom and Reiko for offering a way for me to organize my journey through the gymnastics and physical therapy worlds. I appreciate the opportunity and hope that I can help many people along the way!

My first introduction to (poor) posture was in about 1976. I was a Class I gymnast and some guy took a picture of my lordotic standing posture prior to my standing tuck on a slippery hard Nissen vinyl pukey-colored beam. He then told me to stand up straight and “suck and tuck” my belly in and my butt under and he took another picture. He never mentioned the word POSTURE.

It seemed like a week later when he came back with dark-room developed black and whites of my lordosis. My low back was very arched on the first picture. My back looked better, but not great, on the second picture. I now know that I needed exercises to fix the excessive curve in my low back. I needed to stay away from the traditional V-ups and “row-boats” and leg-lifts and I desperately needed hip flexor stretching. I was one of those kids that was prone to short hip flexors. I began spraining my ankles regularly and then tore my ACL in my knee at an elite meet. These types of injuries are sometimes indirect results of poor posture, lordosis, and muscle imbalances.

That unknown photographer (never saw the guy before and never saw the guy again) served a purpose. I began to look at gymnasts’ posture and I began to try to fix my own posture.