The ankle must support the weight of the body against the ground while maintaining your ability to move, whether you’re walking down the street or faking out a defender. For athletes, the ankle joint is also one of the most commonly injured parts of the body.
Most ankle injuries occur when force on the joint overcomes its stabilizing strength, causing it to roll inward or outward and damaging the ligaments that connect the ankle bones to the leg. In severe cases, damage to the ankle bones and tendons can also occur.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that 73 percent of all athletes suffer from multiple ankle sprains during their athletic careers. In light of their frequency, the severity of ankle injuries is often overlooked, resulting in lingering instability and pain that impairs performance.
Employ a few preventative techniques to improve your odds. An ankle brace or tape, which provides additional external support, can reduce the number of ankle sprains. Also, integrate prehab exercises into your workout. They help strengthen the stabilizing muscles and improve coordination, so your muscles will have the quick activation needed to protect your ankles.
Three-Way Balance Touch
Stand on one leg and continuously touch your other foot forward, out to the side and backward for 30 seconds. For an additional challenge, stand on an Airex pad to increase the activation of your ankle stabilizing muscles.