Strengthen your calfs and ankles

You are probably wondering why I would ever suggest strengthening a part of your body that most people overlook. But I’m hear to tell you that it is vital in helping mobility, balance, and stability.

Like many of us in this group I had to learn how to walk all over again. I was always taught to land on my heel when I walked.

I was never taught, that side to side or “lateral” movements are best completed using the balls of your feet or “staying on your toes.” It helps you keep spring in your leg as you move.

I kind of figured it out several years ago but was unable to carry out the movement due to the lack of strength I had in my left leg.

I walk 15-20 miles a day at the job I have now. I have really messed up feet and they always hurt. On some days they hurt so bad that I can’t put any weight on my arch. I started walking on the balls of my foot, favoring whatever for hurt more.

As I did this I noticed my lateral mobility got better. When I stepped to the side or shuffled my feet, I would land on the balls of my feet instead of my heels.

I can move faster and with more grace laterally than I Ever have since obtaining my injury.

At first it is hard to keep landing on your toes, but just like anything repetition is key, you keep doing it and your muscles not just get stronger but they begin to know how to do it and you can concentrate less.

I have never been able to run on my toes barefoot since having my injury. But guess who was running barefoot at the beach…. “This guy!”

My calfs feel so good and feel so springy. And my ankles feel unbelievable. Everyone I would try to run my ankles felt so weak, they hurt and felt like they were going too give out at any moment. But know I enjoy running (when ever i get the chance) it’s hard concentrating on the movement and the landing but with repetition it becomes easy. You just have to give it time.

I do walk a lot more than an average person. But I suggest this why not go for a nice walk everyday and concentrate on each step you take. Concentrate on one foot at a time. Don’t try to walk on both your toes because you may not have good enough coordination and/or your ankles could be too weak.

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  • Rico Stevens  On May 3, 2015 at 23:17

    Hi my father had a tbi on December 7 2012, a tree fell on him and suffered many injuries, but after physical therapy approximately 4 months worth he was walking and also therapy continued at home, but now 2 1/2 years later his legs have been given him trouble with numbness and weakness he can’t walk , so please if you have any suggestions on what we can do to get him back to walking it would be greatly appreciated my dad’s only 54 years old , thanks godbless

  • Patrick johnPatrick John  On May 4, 2015 at 15:11

    A valuable post and so true. Balance is an issue for most brain injury survivors, and also for everyone as they get older. My balance was shot to pieces for years after my TBI – especially due to having no sight or hearing on my right side. Yoga dealt with that. As my balance optimized my whole body, and mind, felt the benefit.

    Thanks for posting about a very important aspect of health and recovery.

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