Ultrarunning Stretches: Increasing your ankle strength and best running practices


Strengthen your ankles and keep your toes up. Two great tips to help improve your performance and help keep your face off the trail. This week Michael Garrison shows us the toe up hop.

Video Transcript:

Aloha, Dr. Michael Garrison here with UltraRunning Magazine and Hawaii Running Lab, here to add tools to your ultrarunning toolbox. The tool this week is an exercise called toe up hops.

So think about when you’re jumping rope, most people kind of jump rope with their toes pointing down. Well, as runners, we want to be able to, at the top of our stride cycle as well as at the bottom, have our toes up. As ultrarunners, we’re on the trails a lot. We want to make sure that we are not kicking roots, rocks, anything like that that’s on the ground, and this exercise does a great job developing that ankle strength and that positive habit of keeping your toes up while you’re running, and it looks like this. With that, you want to take that on the trails and hopefully you’re not the one that’s dragging your toe and wind up with a face full of trail.

All right, thank you for tuning in, and if you have any comments at all, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.



About Author

Michael’s background makes him a rare blend of avid runner, accomplished coach and passionate academic. He received his BS in Exercise Science from the University of California at Davis, his M.Ed. in Sports Management from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Arkansas. His Ph.D. dissertation, “Characteristics of Elite Female Collegiate Distance Runners with Respect to Selected Biomechanical and Physiological Factors,” can be found here or in print at the University of Arkansas Library. Michael has been a competitive runner for most of his life with over 10 marathon finishes and over 30 ultra marathon finishes. When he’s not coaching, you can find Michael running trail races on Oahu and in California.

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