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GOLFERS, WATCH YOUR STEP Tips to Protect Your Foot and Ankle from Injury By Ashley Fluger, CSCS, TPI • W  arm up before you play with a cat-cow stretch and a 90/90 side-lying peel to increase mobility and prep for the golf swing. An exercise such as a side plank helps with proximal stability around the hips and core, which is also critical for the rotational moves golfers make with each swing. People with a history of ankle injury may benefit from additional warm-up exercises such as dead bugs, glute bridges and lateral band walks, as well as using a foam roller.  efore beginning your game, take a few slow practice • B swings to roll through your feet and ankles. Stretch your calves, once with a bent knee and once with a straight knee, before you start and again halfway through. • Wear proper, well-fitting footwear. Your feet should not slide inside your shoes as you swing. If you have bunions, consider being evaluated by a foot specialist for an orthotic or shoe insert. If you have a foot condition that is exacerbated by walking, consider using a golf cart.  hen hitting on uneven terrain or out of the sand, make • W sure your feet make solid contact with the ground by hinging at your hips with soft knees in an athletic position. Ashley Fluger, CSCS, TPI, is an exercise physiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Tisch Sports Performance Center. She graduated top in her class from Indiana University with a degree in Kinesiology and completed the Sport Essentials Certificate Program from Columbia University. Ashley has extensive knowledge in both exercise science and sports performance.

The foot is an anatomical marvel, supporting the weight of the entire body with every step. The foot is crucial for force absorption when playing sports and overall daily movement. The foot is crucial for force absorption when playing sports and overall daily movement. Most importantly for golfers, the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle work together to transfer force in your swing. Here’s how to keep this intricate network safe from injury. • First, if you injure your foot or ankle during the game, stop playing and don’t resume until the pain goes away. If the problem persists, see a doctor. 136 

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