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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

You CAN Work Out Your Ankles! 3 Injury-Preventing Exercises

Football players' injuries are regularly splashed across the sports pages at this time of year. Concussions, pulled hamstrings and torn ACL's are all pretty common. Recently, ankle injuries, such as fractures and sprains, have also made front page news.

Eddie Lacy, of the NFL's Green Bay Packers, and Malik Zaire, start quarterback of the University of Notre Dame, suffered serious season-ending ankle injuries. While there is no controlling what happens on the field, for a professional or recreational athlete, you can condition your ankles so that they are at their strongest to prevent an injury.

Strengthening ankle joints and surrounding tissues help to decrease the severity of an injury and also help prevent painful conditions such as shin splints and Achilles tendonitis.

Check out these exercises for stronger ankles:
  1. Use a resistance band by placing it around the top of the foot, then curl toes at the end of the movement. Complete three sets of 20 in each direction. 
  2. Perform simple calf raises, in both sitting and standing positions. Aim for three sets of 20. 
  3. Try plyometric drills with swift, jumping type movements and rapid recoveries, such as "scissor hops" and standing/jumping squats. Do each exercise 10 to 15 times. 
Learning how to balance well on your ankles keeps them strong and allows you to control your feet and body more effectively. Practice standing on one foot for several second, working up to one full minute, then switch, and repeat.

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