Friday, August 8, 2008

Client Sports Fitness Question Of The Week, 6

One major goal of sports fitness training is injury prevention. Ankle sprains are common to sports competitors. Really bad ankle sprains can give a player trouble for the rest of her or his career (i.e., ankle sleeves are needed to reinforce the ankle).

Client Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent ankle sprains during practice or games?

Mark's A: You can take steps to reduce the risk of spraining an ankle.

1) You can improve the ankle's joint proprioception (position sense) and dynamic stability with balance training. Doing one-legged balance exercises will accomplish this goal. One-leg balancing on foam pads or disks for 4-5 minutes (each leg) is a great exercise. Other great exercises are lunges, single-leg squats, step ups and medicine ball rotations on one leg.

2) Proper footwork during practice and games will also reduce ankle sprain risks. "Rolled ankles" are very common. An example would be failing to properly plant your foot (with the knee inside the ankle) when accelerating quickly out of a cut. Faulty landing technique from jumps also cause many ankle sprains and knee ligament injuries.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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  1. Hi Mark,
    Just thought you might like to know that you are now part of the Runner's Circle. ;-)

  2. Hi Mark,
    There's a minor error in the above link: If you follow the Runner's Circle link & then remove the slash from the URL & reload the page, the link works! ;-) Here's the correct link. Please excuse the typo!


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