Ankle sprains are the most common injury affecting basketball players. The crowded nature of the game forces players to jump and change direction with other players’ feet littering the floor below. “In basketball, you’re playing on a level surface, but against un-level people,” says Tim Grover, Dwyane Wade’s off-season strength coach. “Other people’s feet and legs [are] all over the place. You want your ankles to be strong enough to withstand anything thrown at them.”
To accomplish this goal with Dwyane Wade and his other All-Star clients, Grover incorporates a PPT Band Ankle Circuit at the end of every workout. “We always finish with the PPT Band to prevent injuries,” he says. “The PPT Band puts straight emphasis on the muscles that stabilize the ankle.”
While the PPT circuit cannot completely eliminate ankle sprains (some injuries are unavoidable), it can greatly reduce the damage when Dwyane does roll an ankle. “We won’t say this prevents ankle sprains,” Grover says. “But what it does do is strengthen the muscles, so that in case you do sprain an ankle, it is strong enough to bounce back and [reduce] the severity and time off the court. So, [what would’ve been a] Grade-II sprain may only be a Grade-I sprain; or instead of needing to take a week off, you don’t miss any time.”
Perform the following circuit at the end of every workout to build stronger ankles.
Check out Dwyane’s entire workout here.
PPT Band Ankle Circuit
• Sit on table with one leg extended and ankle past edge
• Loop PPT Band around foot and apply tension to band
• Perform specified reps of Plantar Flexion [pointing toes], eversion [rotating foot out] and inversion [rotating foot in]
• Perform set on opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 2×30-100 each movement, each leg
Coaching Points: Generate movement from ankle only