Wednesday, July 8, 2015

McIlroy's Ankle Woes

Unfortunate news from Rory McIlroy's camp.  He has torn his ATFL, a ligament on the outside of his ankle, playing soccer with friends.  Depending on the extent of the injury, he will most likely spend the next several months rehabilitating his ankle to get it back into PGA shape.  Here is a look at the foot and ankle and the vital role it plays in the game of golf!
The feet and ankles play an extremely important part in not only the stability of the golfer during his/her swing, but also help turn on the other generators of torque higher up the chain (i.e. the hips and core).  During the back swing, the back foot needs to stay planted in order to allow the R gluteal to load, creating potential energy that will be converted to kinetic energy (power) during the downswing.  The front foot also needs to stay planted, but allow the ankle to flex so that we can get adequate hip turn.  If we lack the ankle flexion here, it may lead to insufficient hip loading and increased lower back stress, increasing our chance for lower back injury.  It can also lead to front knee collapse inward and a horde of problems (related to both health and performance) that come along with that movement. 
How do we keep our feet and ankles healthy and supple? 
Triplanar Calf Stretch
This stretch should help to create ankle flexion while moving through all 3 planes of movement that are going to be utilized during the golf swing. 

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