Why is ankle flexibility important?
The more flexible your ankle is, the better you control the surface area of your foot.
Thanks to the flexible ankles, you can push the water not only while lowering your foot, but also while raising it.
Let me try to explain how strong and flexible footwork can contribute to your performance with a couple of examples: In the championship held in Rio in 2016, 4×100 m. I recommend you to watch Michael Phelps’ underwater foot kick in the Free Relay race. See how he beat his opponent, with whom he entered the turn, thanks to the underwater foot kick.
In addition, if I say that Alexandr Popov, one of the greatest sprinters in history, could complete the 50 meters with 27 seconds of footstroke, I think I would have summarized the importance of the subject better.
The powerful foot strike makes your body rise in the water. So the down-foot kick becomes more effective in the water. At this point, a positive correlation is observed between ankle flexibility and foot strike.