How To Keep Heels Down - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-28-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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How To Keep Heels Down

I love riding, and have been doing it for about 2 years now, but before riding I did gymnastics and hurt my ankles a LOT. Keeping my heels stretched down is hard and painful for me, especially because in gymnastics your heel muscles are not trained to be pushed down..keeping toes pointed uses the opposite muscle.

I think it's my achilles that hurts so much, and I am a stubborn person that pushes my body harder than I should, so advice about taking it down a notch is appreciated, but I'm realllyyyy stubborn and probably won't do that haha

Is there any way to work on stretching out my heels more? Any good stretches? I always ice my ankles and take advil which helps. Over the ast year my heels have gotten tremendously better but I'd rather improve them in less than a year..

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-28-2013, 10:29 PM
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As I recently found out, it might not be your heels that are the problem. It might be your calves are failing to relax and preventing everything south of them from dropping. If you stand on a step with and let your heels sink off the edge, see if the tightness is actually in your calves. If you feel tightness there, it's your calves you need to stretch out and not lower down. I also made the mistake of thinking it was a problem lower down and almost strained my achillies beyond repair.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-28-2013, 10:33 PM
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I would highly recommend stair lifts! What you do is find a set of stairs or something with an edge then stand with most of your feet hanging over. Let your heels sink all the way down, hold for two seconds then bring them all the way back up. I do that 3 times a day about 30 times each which is all I can handle before the pain is too much. I swear by this method for not only building muscle but also making my heels much more flexible and I've seen it recommended on various forums.

... also, when you're riding make sure you're not forcing your heels down! That is a huge no no but it is such a common thing for riders to do. You always want to let your weight sink down through the heels, naturally forcing them down. If you're having a lot of pain, I would look into flexible stirrups. I know a few riders who can only ride with them otherwise the pain is too much.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-28-2013, 10:35 PM
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What i do is- put the balls of my feet on the top edge of a step- and bend my body forward to stretch things out- i also do this against a tree or a poll of some sort to use as leverage.

But i will say- if its hurtin you to point your heels its mostlikely too much anyway- they dont have to be pointed down all dramatically - just enough that theyre lower than the balls of your feet.

I broke my ankle a few times (yes same ankle) and i still rode with out problems pointin my heels- seems like ita been a big deal but it wasnt really- i do it subconsciously so didnt even think about it untill i looked down, lol.

Last edited by toto; 05-28-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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achilles tendon , heels down , stretch out

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