News Ankle Performance

Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Nick Coe

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Screening Your Ankles to Reduce Injuries and Boost Performance

Numbers don’t lie; the ankle is one of the most frequently injured joints. This shocking statistic is due to countless athletes ignoring their angles when they work out, effectively creating a “weak link” in their athletic performance.

Many athletes consider fortifying the strength of such a small joint to be negligible and a waste of time. However, this is careless and if you want to guard against ankle injury you need to examine flexion and extension of the joint, as well as work out properly in order to maintain the fitness levels of your ankles to be in line with the rest of your body.

Examining ankle fitness:

  • Lie down and have your legs flat and together while touching a wall. Then flex the toes and feet toward yourself as much as possible – A fit ankle will allow you to get +1 inch from the wall.
  • While still laying down point your toes away from you – A fit ankle will give you at least 20 degrees range of motion.
  • Stand up with your toe 1 inch from the wall and try to touch the wall with your knee without lifting your foot. Repeat, adding more distance – A fit ankle will allow you to bend to reach the wall from at least 4 inches away

If you fail the above screens, you need to focus some workout time on your ankles, below are some solid Ankle exercises:

  • Sitting stretches
  • Banded stretches
  • Calf raises
  • Double/single leg jumps
  • Single leg balance
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Weighted calf raises

When working on untrained ankles, initially aim for 40-50 foot contacts per session. You can gradually increase the number as your ankles become fitter.

A Weak Foundation | Breaking Muscle

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