Ankle development machine.

The simulator is a tool with which you can perform the exercises presented below to develop certain data and protect the foot from improper load.
The ankle development simulator is made of wood and has a special shape that allows you to position the foot on it in a certain way. So that all toes are in a state of maximum passive extension. This creates tension on the plantar structures of the foot, including the plantar aponeurosis, and makes pronation of the foot (rolling inward) impossible. This will allow the movement to be performed in isolation at the ankle joint without compensating for part of the amplitude with the foot. By regularly performing exercises using a simulator, you develop the habit of working the ankle joint and correctly distributing weight on the foot, which will protect it from the formation of deformities. And the correct distribution of body weight on the foot will not only preserve its health, but also provide the opportunity to more quickly gain sports competencies.
Before using, place the ankle joint development machine near the ballet barre.
It is recommended to exercise on the machine in ballet shoes (ballet shoes) to reduce the likelihood of slipping on the machine.
Place your foot on the machine as shown in Image 1. The heel bone is located on an insert located in the rear of the machine, the transverse arch is located on an insert in the front of the machine, while the toes are in a state of maximum passive extension.












Image 1. Position of the foot on the ankle development machine

Before performing special exercises, you MUST warm up!
As a warm-up, you can perform 15 repetitions of demiplie, holding the machine with your foot in the same position. Due to friction inside the joint, the local temperature will increase, which will reduce the risk of injury.









Image 2. Warm-up using an ankle development machine

Then you can begin the main part of the workout.
The exercises offered for execution along with the simulator have several directions.

To increase ankle mobility.

The most common causes of impaired mobility (mobility) of the ankle joint are insufficient functional readiness of the muscles of the anterior and posterior surface of the leg,which, due to their tension, can limit flexion and extension at the ankle joint.
In flexion, this leads to compensation of part of the amplitude in the ankle joint by pronation of the foot, which is extremely unacceptable in choreography and rhythmic gymnastics. Regular pronation in the Shopar joint changes the normal biomechanics of choreographic and sports elements, and in the process of active growth can lead to the development of functional abnormalities and foot diseases. Since choreographic and sports training consists of regular intensive physical exercises involving a large number of jumps, maximum flexion at the ankle joint without pronation of the foot is the key to successful development of skills. The height and correctness of the jump depends on the depth of the demi-plié. Using the simulator will allow you to perform more amplitude movements aimed at flexing the ankle joint, which will reduce the influence of the muscles of the back of the lower leg. Consequently, the plie will become deeper due to the work of the ankle joint, rather than the joints of the foot.

Exercise 1. Increasing depth plie.
Starting position: standing facing the ballet barre, place the foot on the machine, as in image 1. When the supporting leg is located on the machine, the knee joint is in a state of maximum extension, the ankle is in a state of flexion, by moving the body weight to the back of the machine. Working leg pas cou-de-pier. Keep your back straight, look ahead. You can hold onto the machine with your hands.
Execution technique: make a demi-plié with the supporting limb from the state of flexion of the ankle joint to the maximum possible. In this case, you cannot move your body weight to the front of the machine. Support remains predominantly on the heel bone
(How shown in image 3).









Image 3: Deepening exercise plie

Result: due to the shape of the simulator, there is tension in the plantar aponeurosis and, as a consequence, the impossibility of pronation in the Shopard joint, which often occurs with maximum flexion of the ankle joint in the demi-plié. Pronation replaces part of the range of motion in the ankle, which is unacceptable. Therefore, performing a demi-plié with a protected foot will allow more impact on the muscles of the back of the lower leg, which can limit the depth of the demi-plié. The result of regular exposure to this muscle group will be an increase in flexion at the ankle joint without undue stress on the foot.

Extension of the ankle joint can be limited by the muscles located on the front surface of the lower leg. As a result, we will see understretched feet and low toes. Using the simulator will allow you to work out the entire range of motion.

Exercise 2. Increasing height releve.
Starting position: standing facing the ballet barre, place your foot on the machine. The transverse arch of the foot rests against an insert located on the upper surface in the front of the machine. The toes are in a state close to maximum extension due to their location on the simulator, resting against its front part. The heel bone rests on an insert located on the top surface at the back of the machine. Holding onto the machine, rest your foot on the machine. When the supporting leg is placed on the machine, the knee joint is in 45° flexion, the thigh is relative to the shin. The supporting foot is in a state of maximum extension in the position of shifting the body weight to the transverse arch. Working leg pas cou-de-pier. Keep your back straight, look ahead. You can hold onto the machine with your hands.
Technique: maintain maximum extension in the ankle joint using the calf muscles. In this case, the lower leg remains motionless, that is, the angle of flexion between the lower leg and the knee joint is 45°. Next, while maintaining maximum extension of the ankle joint (you can help support the lower part of the machine with your other foot, as shown in image 4), straighten the knee of the supporting leg.








Image 4. Exercise to increase releve height

Result: increased mobility of the ankle joint, in particular extension, due to changes in the tone of the muscles of the anterior surface of the leg. Increasing the range of motion towards extension in the ankle joint is a necessity for aesthetic sports, since there are many elements with a shift of body weight to the transverse arch with the knee joint maximally extended. The simulator will allow you to painlessly increase the amplitude of extension in the ankle joint compared to methods without using a simulator for ankle development (manual methods). Since when performing the presented movement, the displacement of the simulator to the front part of the lower surface is carried out by concentric work of the muscles of the back surface of the lower leg without pronation of the foot, and according to the principle of reciprocal inhibition, the muscles performing antagonistic functions will relax. This will allow the foot and ankle to adapt to the shift of body weight to the transverse arch of the foot, increasing the amplitude of extension, more painlessly.

To increase ankle stability.

The most common causes of impaired ankle joint stability (control) are decreased foot stability and compensation of amplitude movements of the ankle joint by the foot due to pronation. With regular repetition, this becomes a motor stereotype for a given movement and is included in all motor patterns. To prevent loss of stability, it is suggested to perform exercises on the simulator to develop the ankle joint, increasing control of the position of the foot. A common mistake when performing these elements (releve, demi-pointe) is a shift of body weight to the first metatarsophalangeal joint of the supporting limb. This occurs due to loss of control at the Shopard joint, and the axis of the load shifts from the second toe to the first. Regularly performing such movements in violation of the technique will lead to an increase in the load on the first metatarsophalangeal joint and the development of functional deviations of the foot (shown in image 5).







Image 5. Foot deformity due to improper distribution of body weight

In ballet and sports, the ankle joint must be sufficiently mobile, allowing the foot to remain stable while performing amplitude movements in the ankle joint, and be sufficiently stable, allowing for the stability of the artist/athlete during the performance of professional elements, especially at the moment of shifting the load on the transverse arch. This prevents the development of certain conditions and diseases of the foot, for example, planovalgus foot placement, Hallux valgus, and the formation of an additional navicular bone.

Exercise 3.
Starting position: standing facing the ballet barre, place your foot on the machine as shown in image 1. The foot is at an angle of 90° to the shin. When the supporting leg is placed on the machine, the knee joint is in a state of maximum extension. Working leg pas cou-de-pier. Keep your back straight, look ahead.
Technique: slowly, smoothly perform maximum flexion and extension in the ankle joint using the muscles of the lower leg, holding the knee joint in the position of maximum extension (releve). In this case, the lower leg remains motionless. The movement is performed with the foot relative to the shin, as shown in image 6.







Image 6. Ankle stability exercises

Result: due to the work of the muscles, isolated movement is produced in the ankle joint. Regular repetition increases control and increases the controllability of the muscles around the ankle joint.

Sharing the levers of the lower limb and timely activation of muscle groups will allow more efficient use of the energy given off by the muscles. Active use of the ankle joint in jumping involves the triceps surae muscle, which complements the work of the gluteal and quadriceps muscles. Often children do not use this lever. From here we see a low jump and an increase in hip volume, which is unacceptable in aesthetic sports. With an ankle development machine, you can use the ankle joint more in your usual jumping pattern, which will allow you to increase its height.

Exercise 4.
Starting position: standing facing the ballet barre, place your foot on the machine as in image 1. The foot is at an angle of 90° to the shin. When the supporting leg is positioned on the machine,
the knee joint is in a state of maximum extension. Working leg Sur le cou-de-pied. Keep your back straight, look ahead.
Execution technique: slowly, smoothly make movements with the working leg. The supporting foot is motionless. With the working leg, you can perform movements in all planes, making parallel flexions of the knee and ankle joint of the supporting leg - Battement fondu, as shown in image 7.
Especially at the lowest point, you can increase ankle flexion by lowering the ankle joint trainer with the back of it towards the surface.







Image 7. Jump increase exercise using an ankle development machine

Result: at the moment of flexion of the knee joint, the habit of maximum work of the ankle joint is formed. During the plie, your heels will be on the floor longer, which will give you more leverage for the push. Also, the center of gravity is constantly shifting due to changes in the position of the working leg, which stimulates the inclusion of more muscle fibers in the process of maintaining stability. Performing an element using a simulator increases the need to control the position of the foot due to the activation of muscle groups that stabilize the foot and ankle joint.

Exercises to develop ankle stability on the simulator can increase the sense of control of the foot and ankle joint, which will increase stability and control of a given posture during the execution of choreographic elements.
Ankle development machine HEALMO