Dorsiflexion and plantar flexion refer to extension or flexion of the foot at the ankle. These terms refer to flexion between the foot and the body’s dorsal surface, considered the front of the leg, and flexion between the foot and the body’s plantar surface, considered the back of the leg. Specifically:
- Dorsiflexion: where the toes are brought closer to the shin. This decreases the angle between the dorsum of the foot and the leg. For example, when walking on the heels the ankle is in dorsiflexion.
- Plantar Flexion: is the movement which decreases the angle between the sole of the foot and the back of the leg. For example, the movement when depressing a car pedal or standing on the tiptoes can be described as plantar flexion.
For indoor cycling instructors as well as participants, it is important to pay careful attention to the ankle joint and ensure a better range of motion using the following techniques (click to enlarge the quick reference guide below):