The greatest swimmers have something very important in common… ankle flexibility. Here are a couple quick exercises you can do to help with your ankles.
Why do it:
Increasing your ankle flexibility will allow you to grab as much water as possible with all of your kicks. This makes your kick more effective, and the potential to swim faster becomes a reality.
How to do it:
1) First, as with all stretches, go very slowly, and if you feel any knee pain with these, stop, or don’t press down as far.
2) Start with your feet as flat on the floor as possible in a hands and knees position.
3) Slowly lower down to your feet, with your ankles directly under you. Sit on to your feet.
4) Put the feet a bit wider than you, and try to sit flat on the floor with your feet to the side.
5) Hold each position for a little while to allow the stretch to really take effect.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
This is a bit more advanced drill, and should be done with much care. This position is specifically for grabbing water at the top of the breaststroke kick. Start in the same kneeling position, only point your toes to the outside. Slowly lower yourself until you’re able to sit flat on the floor. When you become more and more comfortable with this, you can lean back. If the model was younger, you may even see him lay flat on the floor with the feet in this position, but since there was nobody else around, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get back up. 🙂
Above all, take this slowly, and be consistent. The more often you practice this, the better your ankle flexibility till become.