No athlete wants to miss a game because of a sprained ankle, yet it’s one of the most common injuries in sports. After all, you’re constantly using your ankles for stability. Whether in practice, the middle of a game or just walking out of class, it only takes one bad step to land you on the sidelines. While it may be difficult to avoid rolling your ankle, luckily you can strengthen your ankles with a very simple exercise. Hopefully it will have you popping right back up instead of calling for crutches.
Calf Raises, performed here by LSU Women’s Soccer, increase strength in the ankles. “You get a lot of ankle injuries [in soccer],” says former LSU assistant strength and conditioning coach Brad Price. “Normally we’ll do some ankle stabilization drills…because there’s a lot of slide tackling in soccer.” Not to mention the countless times players roll over each other’s ankles during a hard fought match.
Perform this exercise at the end your workout. Doing it at the beginning will fatigue the muscles around the ankles, increasing risk of injury.
- Hold on to something for balance
- Focus on full range of motion