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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Strengthening Ankle and Foot: Isolating A Weaker Muscle

Here is a question from my video on YouTube on Ankle/Foot Strengthening (see the video below).

Why did you ask her to stop when she started to substitute?

When isolating a muscle/tendon while strengthening, it is important to strengthen that one weak muscle and not allow for substitution of the surrounding stronger muscles. Substitution means that the patient will use another group of stronger muscles to do the activity, and not use the weaker muscle (it will go along for the ride). By isolating a muscle/tendon, you can increase its strength rather quickly and correct muscle imbalances produced by strong vs weak muscles. Dr Rich Blake 
A typical example is the marathon runner who comes in knee pain. You test his muscle strength and all muscles in his lower extremities are strong except for some weak quads. You isolate the quads in your strengthening program, gradually build up the strength, and they return to running with no knee pain.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.