Exercises that will strengthen your ankles for Hoopfest
By now, it is too late to get those ankles strengthened for Hoopfest here in Spokane WA., but there is always next year isn’t there? If you haven’t been strengthening your ankles before this weekend’s gigantic three on three Hoopfest tournament.
Fatigue and the projected high heat can cause unexpected problems with agility, balance, and coordination on the city street courts. You may consider having a professional wrapping them up prior to your Hoopfest games. This extra support to your ankles may be the difference between finishing or sitting on the sidelines with a damaged ankle.
Are you conscious of every step you take because in the past you’ve suffered a twisted ankle and are fearful that it may reoccur? If you have had a recent serious ankle injury then more than likely you’ve been to the doctor. Because of that visit, perhaps you were referred to a physical therapist for some rehabilitation work. If you didn’t see a doctor, then you may be on your own and wondering what can be done to strengthen your ankles.
Here are a few recommendations from the Mayo Clinic. They just may make your ankles stronger and make you better able to resist the joint stress of an off balance moment. If you have decent balance then give them a try.
Start out by sitting in a chair or standing up next to a supporting counter top or doorjamb. Keep one foot flat and lift the other one up a few inches off the floor. With the raised foot, use your ankle and toes to trace out the letters of the alphabet. Pretend that your big toe is the pencil as you write the ABC’s out in thin air. After one foot is finished, go to the other one and repeat writing the alphabet again.
The next exercise is the calf raise. Stand next to the counter top and stand up as high as you can, with straight legs, on the balls of your feet. Start out using both feet and do them together for twenty-five or more high repetitions. Once you are able to do 100 reps without rest begin to do them on one foot. This is going to be considerably harder, but stick with it and soon you’ll be doing them just fine on a single leg.
After you have finished with the calf raises, stand with both feet flat on the floor again and raise your toes up toward your head. Follow the same scheme as before, i.e. both feet for up to 100 reps and then to on to doing them with one foot.
Strong ankles help reduce the risk of falling and suffering a broken bone or a twisted ankle. The extra strength means you will be able to react to an off balance situation and recover without injury. In the previous part, several ankle specific exercises were explained. In this portion, three more exercises are described.
Side pushes are ankle and thigh exercises. These exercises can be done either sitting in a chair or standing next to a wall. Begin in the chair with your shoulder pressed up against the wall. With the leg that is on the same side as the shoulder that is against the wall, push against the side of the wall with your foot. Now turn around and do the same with the other foot for twenty-five pushes that are held for five to ten seconds each.
This next exercise is similar to the previous one however with this one you will be sitting in a doorway and pulling your foot against the doorjamb towards the inside of your body rather than pushing outward.
Since balance is such a big part of keeping your ankles safe from injury the next exercise helps, in a small way, to build confidence in your ability to maintain your balance into your ankles.
Start out by standing next to some sort of a support aid. Raise one leg up by bending at the knee and lifting the lower leg up a little ways off the floor. The support leg must remain straight throughout the balance exercise.
See how long you can hold the position. Now change to the other leg and see how you do. One may be easier to hold than the other may; this is natural and is not a cause for alarm unless there is a dramatic difference in the two sides.
Daily practice can improve the strength and balance abilities of your ankles and make them more reliable the next time you and your team enter Hoopfest.