Three Exercises That Will Make You Less Prone To Sprained Ankles


Sprained ankles are a very common injury among athletes who participate in nearly every sport that involves running. Whether you're a softball player, a track and field athlete, or a cross-country skier, a sprained ankle can mean an early end to the season, or, at the very least, a few missed practices. Protect yourself by performing these exercises, which will strengthen your ankles and leave you less prone to injuries.

Heel Drops

You can perform this quick exercise whenever you have a spare minute in your day. All you need is a few books and bare feet. Stack the books on the floor until they're between 4 and 6 inches in height. Then, stand with your heels planted firmly on the ground and the balls of your feet on the books. Sink your weight down into your ankles as you focus on stretching out your ankles, arches and calves. Hold this position for as long as is comfortable – it will loosen your ankle joints, making you less prone to sprains and strains.

Wall Stretches

If you've ever had sore calves, your coach may have had you do these stretches to stretch out your calf muscles. They're good for your ankles, too. Stand facing a wall, and place the ball of one foot against the wall with your heel still resting on the ground. Lean forward at the knee, feeling the stretch through your foot, ankle and calf. Hold this position to the count of 20, and then switch to the other foot. Perform 3 – 5 stretches on each leg per day for best results.

Ankle Circles

This simple exercise will increase the side-to-side range of motion in your ankles, so you're less likely to suffer a serious sprain if your ankle turns to the side unexpectedly. Sit in a chair, and cross one leg over the other so that the calf of one leg is resting on the knee of your other leg. With the top ankle, begin making big circles. Focus on moving your toes in as wide a circle as possible. Keep making circles for 20 seconds, and then reverse and make them in the opposite direction for 20 more seconds. Repeat this process with the other leg.

Many sprained ankles are minor injuries and resolve themselves with a few days of rest and icing. If you suffer from a sprained ankle that is so painful that you cannot walk, or if the pain does not subside within a few days, be sure to contact a podiatrist about your condition. He or she will make sure your ankle is not broken, and recommend treatments such as physical therapy or surgery to aid your recovery.


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