Back in 1999 (wow, that was almost 10 years ago) I was in a car accident and shattered my right heel. After reconstructive surgery I was in wheel chair for 3 months and crutches for 6 months. Needless to say my right leg went through a bit of atrophy and I lost alot of flexibility in my legs (I used to be able to do full splits and put my legs behind my head back during my Shoto-Kan days
Well, I fell in love with TCM a few years after that and began doing a bit of light Wei Dan standing meditation (back in 2003) added in to my regular practice schedule. My leg strength improved drasticly, to the point where they are stronger now then they were before the accident. Needless to say I don't walk with a limp like the doctors told me I would. However this has also created some interesting and uncomfortable situations.
First is that my right leg is slightly longer then my left now (which is odd feeling b/c I'm left handed/legged). In addition to that my right leg still has not regained as much flexibility as is desirable. I've begun to amp up my training considerably and really focus on stance work, and my mabu sure isn't what it used to be. The flexibility in both my legs has been compromised to a certain degree. So while I'm not really interested in doing splits any more, I'd like to be able to correct my mabu. My right foot turns outward as I settle downward which causes my left knee to go out of alignment. Also, while in a left side Bow and Arrow stance (60 on the left leg) my right foot "caves" outward slightly (not violently or anything) preventing me from keeping truly rooted. While I see a certain amount of my problem areas (waist flexibility being one of them, I can fix that over time fairly easily) the right foot flexibility is causing everything else to been thrown off. Though I'm pleased with my TOTAL lower body strength, it is disproportionate
Sooooooo.... does anyone know some good exercises to increase foot/ankle flexibility/strength. Judging from my body responses, this one correction should do a world of change since it is preventing everything from aligning correctly. It never came up before when doing Zhaun Zhaung (sp), I'm assuming because standing naturally distributed the weight more easily. It only happens when my legs are more than shoulder width apart pretty much. I'm not looking for a quick fix here, just something I can work into my normal training to facilitate me eventually being able to settle into my mabu again, which inturn should allow me to train correctly. Thanks!