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Maintaining Ankle Stability

THSF
Photo by usafootball.com
by Trey Yocum
August 6, 2016

Ankle injuries are one of the more common injuries in team sports. Most of these are inversion ankle sprains. This is where the foot roles under the ankle to the inside. This results in sprains or tears of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

As coaches we may tend to forget about or choose not to take extra time training this in our athletes. They are already pounding their ankles during practice and other activities. Extra training may seem like overkill at this point.

Training for ankle stability may take time but it will pay off in the long run. This does not have to be the emphasis of a program but focus should be on ankle stability at some point. This will allow for greater motor control about the joint. Greater motor control may then have a positive transfer to all other training activities.

Now how do we do it? I am not a big fan of trying to cram all sorts of exercises together into one giant super-lift (ex. Single arm kettlebell snatch on a bosu ball with pistol squat.) I find that we get better results from separating and simplifying. I find it beneficial to have athletes stand on a foam pad with one foot at the beginning of a training session.  This is not meant as a fatiguing exercise. It is rather an activation of the muscles that will carryover to the session.

By implementing stability training we can decrease risk of injury. This increase in stability can carry over to increase performance as well.

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