What are the best exercises to avoid an ankle sprain?
A: Strengthen your feet?
B: Work on your balance?
A study conducted in 2016 researched basketball players for 6 years and found that balance exercises were the variables most connected to avoiding ankle sprains. In another study in 2015, researchers found those who had suffered a previous ankle sprain showed decreased re-injury from the introduction of balance exercises.
Currently, ankle sprains are more predominant in women than men and more frequently found in court sports like volleyball, basketball, and tennis. These sports challenge participants with repetitive cutting activities on surfaces with quick reaction speeds. By adding a simple balance routine to your workouts, you may be able to avoid spraining your ankle.
Another interesting note found in the 2016 study... After the 6 years, ankle taping had decreased from 90% to 30% spontaneously. No one told them not to tape their ankles, they just stopped. The participants also reported decreased knee sprains and back pain!
So get out there and practice your balance!
Doherty, C., Delahunt, E., Caulfield, B., Hertel, J., Ryan, J., & Bleakley, C. (2014). The incidence and prevalence of ankle sprain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective epidemiological studies. Sports medicine, 44(1), 123-140.
Riva, D., Bianchi, R., Rocca, F., & Mamo, C. (2016). Proprioceptive training and injury prevention in a professional men's basketball team: a six-year prospective study. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(2), 461.
Schiftan, G. S., Ross, L. A., & Hahne, A. J. (2015). The effectiveness of proprioceptive training in preventing ankle sprains in sporting populations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18(3), 238-244.
Exercise of the month: Single leg balance
Looks easy right? How long can you balance on one foot?
Easy? If you make it to 1 minute now try to reach over head and across your body. You can even try to touch the floor with the opposite hand! Can you do 10?
Now try to hold still with your eyes closed....(Please put your foot down if you think you are losing your balance, and have something close to you in case you lose your balance). If that is easy, move your arms, overhead, across your body, still there??
Last of all, switch the surface you are balancing on...is it stable or unstable...
BE CAREFUL not to fall! This may be challenging enough, but if you can do it for 1 minute, add the eyes closed... (Please put your foot down if you think you are losing your balance, and have something close to you in case you lose your balance)!
Continue with these and add more as you get better and better! Enjoy!
PERFORM THIS EXERCISE AT YOUR OWN RISK: This newletter is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing any exercise program, including the exercises on this website. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your clients, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this website. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this website, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.