Tibialis Anterior Activation with No Equipment (Great for Home Exercise Programs)

This is Brent of the Brookbush Institute, and in this video we’re going to go over a variation of tibialis anterior
activation that requires no equipment. Now this isn’t my favorite variation, I
prefer the previous video we showed where we had a monster band around a
treatment table, or a monster band hooked to something heavy and you were in long
sit on the floor. That external resistance becomes real handy and you
can get that recruitment pattern of heel strike, but I understand that those
monster bands can be hard to hook up if you don’t have a treatment table, if you
don’t have something really heavy to hook up to, if you don’t have room behind
that heavy object to hook up to that you can actually get in long sit position,
you’re kind of out of luck. So this idea of having a variation where you don’t
need equipment, that becomes very handy for things like home exercise programs,
for group exercise classes and for team training where you’re trying to do a
little movement prep. Obviously tibialis anterior activation is going to help get
some inversion, help fight against pes- planus, or feet flat during an overhead
squat assessment, which we know is going to be beneficial for all of our athletes.
I’m going to have Melissa come in, she’s going to help me demonstrate. Melissa does
have a little lower extremity dysfunction. Alright, she definitely works
with some stuff in her ankles and she can get a little flat-footed from her
running and what-not. She’s going to get in plank position on the wall here to start.
it is important to kind of be leaning against the wall, we want stability. We
don’t want to make somebody have to try to balance or stabilize because I want
to be able to focus on getting some activity in my tibialis anterior. Now the
cueing is the same. I need her to dorsiflex and invert to get her tibialis
anterior drive up, but I also need to her to reciprocally inhibit her
overactive synergist, being her long toe extensors, especially her extensor
digitorum longus which is not only in dorsiflexor, but an eva durand pronator
of the foot. So it can really really contribute to that flat-footed-ness.
So what she’s going to do is she’s going to try to get into as much dorsiflexion
as she possibly can, by driving the this big toe knuckle right her first MTP up
as high as she possibly can. That’ll that’ll get her thinking about
dorsiflexion and inversion, and then she’s going to curl her toes at the same
time to try to shutdown extensor digitorum longus (EDL). Now you can see
here Melissa is having a hard time with her dorsiflexion.
So we’re doing this barefooted only because we want you to be able to see
her toes, but you could technically put something under her heels and have her
put her shoes on as you probably would in a group environment anyway. What
you put your heels on could just be a couple weight plates that are around.
Alright and now she’s going to have some room to actually get some dorsiflexion. A
good thing for you guys to watch out for is if the person can’t get their fifth
metatarsal or the lateral side of their foot off the floor, they probably need a
little heel rise to make this really effective. Now the reason this isn’t my
favorite variation is effectiveness on this exercise, actually getting some
observable objective outcomes like let’s say an improvement in dorsiflexion goniometry is 100% dependent on Melissa’s effort. So if she just goes through
the motions and just flops her foot up and then back down, show them that flop foot up back down, just flop foot up back down, she just kind of does
this thing then you’re not you not getting any results. But if she really
really tries to get in as much dorsiflexion as she possibly can and
hold it with toes curled, I know she’s going to activate the heck out of her
tibialis anterior, and the reason being is she’s working against her overactive
calf complex. So as long as she puts in effort, she really tries to get to the
end of dorsiflexion, I know she’s going have to work against her own resistance
here. How’s that going? We usually have to go a little
drill-sergeant at this point -so up, hold two three four, squeeze and back down.
Right I’ll do like two-four-two count right and one of my favorite tempos for
activation exercise -hold three four back down, come on up. Let’s go for some sexy shins
because everybody wants sexy shins, back down, up, hold. Now if she gets really
good at this maybe I’ve had a couple sessions with her, you have had a
couple group training sessions where everybody knows what they’re
doing, you can do both feet at once. So we can dorsiflex on
both sides once they get a handle on it, kind of cut our time in half for this
particular exercise. Hold, squeeze as hard as you possibly can.
Good up -two, three, four. I don’t see the lateral side of your foot high enough
come on. I mean how are you going to have sexy sexy shins if you don’t, that’s what
everybody wants right I heard that sexy shins were in this year. Alright back
up good and then back down. Now the way your ankles set up your tibia isn’t at
the end of your foot, so if you dorsiflex it’s not like this
where your tibia wouldn’t move, your activity is actually a bit forward kind
of in the middle-ish of your foot, the middle third of your foot. So when you
dorsiflex your calcaneus actually goes down and you end up lifting up your
whole body-weight, which means that if you do one foot at a time it’s actually
really hard. Alright so I’m going to have her lift this leg, you will be able
to see the dorsiflexion and inversion on this side as she struggles, which she is
definitely struggling. Melissa you got to work on this. Obviously this would be a
little easier for her if we maybe did a little bit more mobility work to start
off with. We you know release her calf, mobilize her ankle, stretch her calf and
then do this stuff. But with that being said you guys can see how this variation
doesn’t require much equipment. It’s fairly easy to coach right, you can just
once they get foot up and in with toes curled, you know you can kind of queue a
bunch of people through that once, and then the nice thing is that we can go straight into our reactive activation which is that heel walk video I have up.
Alright and we can even gamify that in a group and do what we call penguin walk
marathon, where you get heel walks and you time it and see who can walk the
longest. Alright so have a little fun that way and it all starts of course
with this, and of course it took no equipment. Again
it doesn’t get the same effect that I get out of something like the tibialis
anterior activation that’s resisted, but it does get me some pretty good results.
Obviously it comes in handy, obviously for home exercises it’s
perfect, and I’d really like to see a little bit more corrective exercise than
our in our group environments. So if you guys have any questions, if you have any
comments please leave them in the box below. I look forward to seeing a lot
more of this out in the field and in classes.


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