Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Unless you have been a dancer who had classical training you have entered into riding without supple ankles. YES, IT DOES HURT bc you haven't asked your ankles to stretch like this before!
I hope that my advice can help you.
First you need to both flex and point your toes. You point by pointing your big toe and slightly curling your other 4 toes just like you point with your index finger. Then, circle each foot the same number of times in each direction. Put your feet together straight legs without a bend and grab your toes with your hands. Stretch (flex) back towards you and hold for one minute at a time. Repeat several times. Do ALL of this in a chair or on a couch or bed bc you do NOT want to add weight to and further aggravate your muscles.
Second, use the stairs to flex. Do NOT BOUNCE, EVER!! Start with climbing stairs correctly, like a model does. You step and slide your foot towards the riser before taking the next step. It takes more muscle, but works your legs, so that's a benefit. Start your stretch with the ball of your foot on the step. Then let your weight push down gradually on your ankle and then rise up as if you are climbing to the next step.
Third, lean forward against a wall and use the floor to overflex your ankle.
Fourth, learn to do a plie. A plie is a slow and constant motion bend and straighten. You plie with both legs. Tuck your butt in, and pull yourself taller without letting your chin pull up. Start with your heels together and toes naturally turned out. I realize that this is an oxymoron bc we ride with toes forward, but, as bipeds it is safer for your back. You bend at the knees as low as possible and you keep your heels on the ground as low as possible. The grand plie is when you bend all of the way down, then back up again. A demi-plie is far more useful to the rider. Your lower legs work well when your butt and upper legs are in control. These muscles are often weak, but by strengthening them you will ride better.
Hope this helps! =D