Poor balance = Increased risk of recurrent ankle sprains
When you injure the ligaments in your ankle, your proprioceptive ability is impaired/reduced. Proprioception refers to the awareness of your body part in space. The most common symptom of impaired/reduced proprioception is poor balance. This is why you may feel unstable after an ankle sprain.
The best types of exercises to do post ankle sprain or to prevent an ankle sprain are balance or proprioceptive exercises. Most fitness programs tend to focus more on strength and cardiovascular training leaving out balance. Here are some exercises to incorporate into your training routine to minimise risk of ankle injuries!
What can I do? – 5 exercises
For these exercises (not including the 5:5:10) you have the option of doing them on a folded towel, a cushion, a balance disc, or a Bosu ball. This depends on what you have access to and the difficulty factor (doing the exercise on a folded towel is much easier than the Bosu ball).
An unstable surface, such as a towel or cushion, teaches your body to react to unpredictable movements, retraining your balance and proprioception. The goal is for your body to react to these unpredictable movements subconsciously, decreasing the feeling of instability.
Stand feet together – 5 x 30 seconds – Start with eyes open, when it gets too easy progress exercise by closing your eyes
Single leg stance – 5 x 30 seconds – Start with eyes open, when it gets too easy, progress exercise by closing your eyes
Squat – 3 x 15 repetitions – Start with holding onto something for support, progress exercise by doing it unsupported
Mini single leg squat – 3 x 15 repetitions – Start with holding onto something for support, progress exercise by doing it unsupported
5:5:10 – This exercise requires a power band and something stable to anchor it onto – 5 minutes, 5 days a week, for 10 weeks
Something to remember
When you’re prescribed antibiotics, you finish the whole course even if your symptoms have improved. Physiotherapy is much the same. Just because your pain is gone – doesn’t mean the issue is resolved and won’t come back!
Head over to our Instagram page for some videos on acute ankle sprain exercises. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at email@example.com. Otherwise, you can also contact our admin team at 8599 9811.
*Please keep in mind, these are general guidelines for the majority of our patients but it is important to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist first and make sure you have a plan tailored specifically for you.
This exercise, if done properly, targets your glute med and focuses on the activation of the muscle.
Lay on your side with your legs stacked and your hips and knees bent 45 degrees.
Rest your head on your arm and your other palm on the floor in front of your chest while lightly pressing your heels together.
Keeping the light pressure in heels, lift the top knee while keeping your core engaged.
Repeat this movement for 15-20 repetitions really focusing on the activation in your glutes.
This exercise targets your glute med in weight bearing, lower limbs as well as your core! This is one of my favourite exercises.
Place your loop band around your mid foot to start.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hips, knees and ankle in one line (keeping this line throughout the movement).
Hinge at your hips and sit your bum back until you feel a mid – strong contraction.
Step one foot out to the side and step the other in the same direction while keeping tension in the band.
Keep alternating steps side to side, repeat this 15-20 repetitions per side.
This exercise focuses on the concentric and eccentric control of your glute med, core and shoulders. This is one exercise that pretty much targets your entire body and works both glute meds at the same time.
Start in a 4 point kneeling position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips, core engaged. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle.
While keeping your hips stable, squeeze your glutes and raise one knee out to the side aiming to get it parallel to the ground.
Making sure you are not leaning away from the lifted leg, keep your core engaged.
Repeat and aim to do 15-20 repetitions on each side.
Your glute med is one of 3 gluteal muscles. It is one of the main hip stabiliser muscles especially during single leg stance (e.g walking, running). This is a very important muscle to keep strong whether you play sports or not. Here is a video demonstration for how to do these 3 exercises.
For more information or if you would like a personalised program give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here.
Start small – you can start with 10mins. daily. Any activity is better than no activity!
Make it a habit – make it a habit to set aside time, to prioritise exercise and your health!
Work up to it – get started and see what works for you, if you find that you can dedicate more time in a day, do it. But remember to make sure it is manageable and is something that you can be consistent with. You will never see changes overnight, consistency is key.
Listen to your body – If you are ill, if you are in pain or just really run down, it is ok to take a break. In fact, it is good practice to take a break when you need it. The goal is to get back into your routine as soon as possible. If you are in pain, consider doing alternative exercises that will not flare you up. If you are finding it difficult to think of alternatives, give us a call and one of our physios or exercise physiologist can help you out with that!
Manage your expectations – Set achievable goals for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them. Do not expect it to be easy or to get fit overnight. Fitness and health is not a quick overnight fix, consistency is key.
What are the recommendations for exercise?
For strength/resistance training: aim to target major muscle groups 2/week. If you want some exercise ideas, head on over to our Instagram to watch all sorts of videos with tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey. Make it more challenging by adding weights or using resistance bands!
For aerobic activity: aim to get more than 150 minutes of moderate activity/week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity/week.
An easy way to measure activity intensity:
Low = you can belt out your favourite song
Moderate = you can hold a proper conversation
Vigorous = you are trying to catch your breath
How do I work up to the recommendations?
The simple answer is to make it work for you.
Exercise is not one size fits all. Not everyone likes the same sort or style of exercise. Choose one that you enjoy and have fun with it! Pick activities that fit your lifestyle and stick to it!
If you know you do not like to exercise alone such as resistance training, join a class or a group. Make it social! When where you workout with friends it makes the experience more fun, and it will keep you motivated.
If you want to try a group exercise class with our team, send us an email or give us a call at 8599 9811 to find out when we are doing our next F45 class. Or, if running is more your thing, check out our Run the Streets (Barangaroo) run club, who go for group runs every Monday at 12:15.