I used to be a regular practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I started out it took me a very long time to be able to sit on my heels for more than a few seconds. It was uncomfortable on my ankles and also led to a lot of foot cramps. Historically, it has been an issue in Yoga classes too (usually Vajrasana/Thunderbolt Pose), but it's not as central to a typical class as it is for the martial art class.

After years off, I'm thinking about making a return to the sport in the coming months. I did a few experiments and I feel like I'm back at square one for ankle mobility after trying to sit on my heels a bit.

Aside from just sitting on my heels for increasing lengths of time, are there any exercises I can do to prepare my ankles? It took months of class before I was comfortable when I first started.

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Improve ankle dorsiflexion for full squat
    – Thomas Markov
    Nov 4, 2022 at 15:27
  • @ThomasMarkov what I’m seeking, I guess, is plantar flexion exercises? I need to be able to sit on my heels with my feet in plantar flexion for extended periods of time.
    – Steve V
    Nov 4, 2022 at 16:34
  • I'm not sure how that is even possible. I'm sure you mean dorsiflexion.
    – Thomas Markov
    Nov 4, 2022 at 16:57
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    Dorsiflexion is moving toes toward the shin. I'm talking about a position where the toes are pointing more toward the calf. Vajrasana is the yoga pose, but we spend a lot of time on the mats in this position while watching instruction during a brazilian jiu jitsu class.
    – Steve V
    Nov 4, 2022 at 19:38
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    OH. You said sitting on your heels, so I thought you meant heels in contact with the floor.
    – Thomas Markov
    Nov 4, 2022 at 19:49


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