There are several reasons why you need to have ankle strengthening exercises, but most important is the need to prevent ankle injury.
The common belief on ankle injuries is that it is only a minor injury, and not serious enough to be treated or taken seriously. This is why many people do not believe in the need for ankle strengthening exercises. This belief will lead to chronic and recurring long term injuries that will hamper and hinder athletes in their performance, and in some cases, in their personal lifestyle also.
Once we realize the importance of serious treatment, we can now discuss the classic treatment of ankle sprain. The area of focus is in the following area:
1. Decreasing pain and swelling
2. Rehabilitate joint range of motion
3. Increase muscular movement
4. Increase muscular strength and stamina
To achieve these goals we have to have a comprehensive ankle strengtheningexercise program formulated by qualified experts in this field. They would insist on an ankle strengthening exercise that will include resistance exercises with resistance bands or tubes, andusing free weights or gym machines. In some instances they will recommend using body weight at the start of the program, then graduating to weights after.
Recently the focus on the rehabilitation program centered on the lower joints that are in close proximity of the ankle using the single leg resistance strengthening exercises and single leg balancing activities.
The idea is to recreate or simulate the athlete’s movement during the rehabilitation program in order to properly heal the ankle with functional anklestrengthening exercises. That’s why the importance on resistance tubes can not be downplayed since it is the core of the exercises, coupled with the gym weight machines and simulation of the sports movement. This will properly heal the ankle injury without any long lasting chronic effects.
Resistance tube exercises have to involve inward and outward (inside and outside) plane movement. This will help the injured area to slowly recuperate its movement, mobility, and strength.
The next phase to ankle strengthening exercises is the single leg balance on an even surface such as the raised heel movement. The objective is to center and isolate the weight of the athlete on the ankle and see if he or she can balance without falling down, and avoid further injuring the ankle. Once this is achieved the next phase is doing the same exercise on an uneven floor such as foam mattress or revolving disc machines.
Then to further stimulate ankle strengthening exercises, try to simulate specific exercises depending on the sport the athlete is involved in. If tennis, you can pick up balls with one leg only; while for basketball, you can throw the ball standing on one leg only.
Finally, plyometric exercises such as jumps and hopping with the goal of landing on that injured ankle with no pain will be the ultimate objective.