Which muscle does not stabilize the ankle joint?

When doing any standing activity, ankles will be used.  If you are looking to maximize strength or balance, checking stability of the ankles is a critical area that is frequently overlooked in training programs.  There is some significant loss of control of precise movements when these muscles are weak. Additionally, some of your potential power is being ‘left on the table’.  Which of the following muscles does not prevent medial or lateral flexion of the ankle?

  1. Tibialis anterior
  2. Tibialis posterior
  3. Gastrocnemius
  4. Fibularis longus
  5. Peroneus Tertius

It is important to make a distinction between two common usages of the term ‘stabilizers’.  The stabilizer term can be used in the context of referring to a joint, and other times in the context of stabilizing a functional movement.  It is very important to be clear on these two common usages because they can cause confusion in your training program.

When the term is used in the context of stabilizing a joint, it is referring to exerting force to control medial and lateral motions.  If we look at stability of the ankle as a joint, four of these muscles are stabilizers.  They prevent lateral and medial motion of the ankle joint.  These muscles will always be stabilizers of the ankle joint.

SkateFootwork_BackswingIf instead, we look at stabilizers of a functional movement, these same muscles will sometimes be stabilizers, and other times be agonists, antagonist or synergists depending on the movement.  If for example, we look at the functional movement of ankle flexion (i.e. rising up on your toes), these same four muscles will ‘stabilize’ the action of ankle flexion.  If instead, we look at a functional movements involved in golf when the back foot exerts a push posterior and medial during a drive downswing, the activity of the same muscles change.  In this functional movement, two of the ankle stabilizers will be acting in a prime mover (agonist) capacity by contributing to the medial motion of the drive.

The answer to the question is 3 – gastrocnemius.  This is one of the bigger calf muscles that primarily plantar flexes (points) the foot.

1 – Tibialis Anterior – This muscle pulls the foot upward and stabilizes the ankle from eversion (prevents the sole from twisting to face laterally).

2 – Tibialis Posterior – This muscle pulls the foot to point downward and stabilizes the ankle from eversion (prevents the sole from twisting to face laterally).

4 – Fibularis Longus – The muscle is also called Peroneus Longus and point the foot down and stabilizes the ankle from inversion (prevents the sole from twisting to face medial).

5 – Peroneus Tertius – This muscle is also called Fibularis Tertius and pulls the foot up and stabilizes the ankle from inversion (prevents the sole from twisting to face medial).

Excerpt from upcoming book “Golf: Training Driven By Diagnosis” by Dr. John M. Wallman

DoctorWallman.com

Clinic / Screening – Balanced Muscle Strength for Runners – August 29

NYIT Bears LogoWhat: The Diagnosis Foundation will be holding a clinic and a screening regarding Balanced Muscle Strength for Runners .

Who: New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Cross Country Team.  This event is not open to the public.

Where: NYIT Central Islip campus, 300 Carleton Ave. Central Islip, NY 11722-9029

When: The events will take place on Thursday, August 29, from 2-3:30 pm.

Activities include:

  • Clinic: Topics will include: Introduction to the DxF, Stages of Muscle Imbalance, Classical Muscle Imbalances for Runners & Screening Demonstration with Clinical Implications.
  • Screening: Balanced Muscle Strength testing of 12 leg muscles for team members.  Balancing muscle strength in the legs results in improved runner’s athletic performance, decrease injuries and prevents certain forms of osteoarthritis.

For additional info:

  • DxF screening program
  • DxF Clinics – 1-2 hour programs to introduce the concept of Balanced Muscle Strength and the implication on athletic performance and health.
  • Volunteer at screening event – To volunteer at the DxF screening booth, please contact: Info@DxFoundation.org
  • Certification Course – To become certified to be an muscle strength examiner at DxF sanctioned screening events.
  • Online Education Course – Learn how to perform 12 muscle strength tests in the legs. (Certification not included)
  • Seminar Review – Learn muscle strength testing for 12 muscles during 1 weekend.  Course intended for fitness & health professionals with some knowledge of anatomy.