Avoid Ankle Injuries with these Simple Tips
Ankle injuries are quite common in the world of sports. In fact, this is the number one injury that keeps athletes away from training most of the time.
A severe ankle injury can include a bone fracture and even affect the tibia and/or fibula. Other types may even affect the ligaments, tendons and tarsal structure, like the tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Oftentimes, we tend to forget and bypass warm-ups and stretching routines before and after an intense session. This is one of the main mistakes that lead to ankle injuries. Thus, we highly recommend that you always warm up, cool down, and stretch before and after a workout.
Athletes and dancers alike are under huge pressure to improve their technique and skills, thus performing demanding training. Along with this, comes a higher risk of injuries, especially ankle injuries. In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to avoid those tedious and dangerous injuries.
Strong and healthy muscles
The first factor to help avoid ankle injuries is to have strong, healthy bones and muscles. Calcium depleted bones will be more prone to suffering from injuries under stress. Therefore, we must give our bodies the necessary nutrients to stay healthy. Among others, these are calcium and vitamin D.
Muscles must also be strong to reduce the risks of suffering from ankle injuries. Under no circumstances should you attempt exercises that you are not ready for. This is a sure way to injuries. It’s much better to increase difficulty slowly to avoid ankle injuries and other injuries in general.
Try these exercises before working out
Some warm-ups can be quite demanding to ensure that the body is ready to start the workout. And so, we recommend doing pre-warmup exercises for these cases in order to have better joint mobility. Here are a few exercises to help you avoid ankle injuries while working out:
- Circular motion: sit down on the floor with your legs extended and cross one leg over the other. Then do circular motions with your ankle, about 15 times.
- Calf raises: this is a common exercise for dancers. Aside from preventing ankle injuries, it strengthens it and gives more flexibility. Stand with legs hip-width apart and your hands on your waist. Then raise the heels and put your weight onto the balls of your feet and your back. Make sure the ankle follows a straight line to the foot and balance on the center of your feet, not the toes.
- ABCs: sit with your back straight and your legs extended. Now move your ankles as if you were writing the letters with your feet.
- Heels on the floor: this exercise stretches and strengthens your Achilles tendon. It’s almost the opposite of doing calf raises. Start out in the same position as calf raises but raise your toes and balls of the feet as much as you can while maintaining your balance on your heels for 10 seconds.
- One leg stands: believe it or not, standing on one leg strengthens your legs, and also your ankles. Stand up straight and take one knee to the chest and hold for 30 seconds. You may lose your balance a little but stick with the exercise. Make sure you maintain good posture.
We have all heard that yoga is good for the body and mind. And, it turns out that it’s also good to prevent ankle injuries. One of the best yoga exercises for the ankles is the Adho Mukha Svanasana, more commonly known as the down dog. Also, this pose helps energize the body and improve blood flow to the head.
Start out by standing up straight and firm, then bend down and put your hands on the floor. Then walk your arms out until you make an upsidedown V shape with your body, and breathe slowly. If you can’t do this straight away, try touching your toes first to acquire some flexibility.
Make sure you take care of your ankles and avoid painful injuries that keep you from training. If you experience pain in your ankle, don’t ignore it, see a doctor or a physical therapist to help you.