We all know just how common rolled ankles are in the fitness world. In fact, ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries, so why are we not working ankle strengthening more diligently?
Ankle strengthening involves strengthening all the tiny muscle fibers around the joint, as well as working overall balance. My favorite tool for this was the Bosu Ball, but those suckers are not cheap to buy for at-home use.
A great alternative? The Stability Disc by Wacces. It's 1/5 of the price and does just as great of a job without taking up as much space in the homestead.
The four main motions of the ankle are inversion (rotation inward), eversion (rotation outward), Dorsiflexion (rotation with toes towards the body), and plantar flexion (rotation away from the body, toes pointing away). To fully work the joint and muscle fibers around the joint, we need to make sure we're utilizing all 4 motions.
Here are 3 easily done moves on a stability disc to cover all four motions of the ankle!
Start in the lunge position with right foot on the disc.
Push off the lung leg, bringing it into a high knee, hold for 3-10 seconds (depending on your ability).
Re-position back to lunge.
Set of 15, repeat other leg.
Making it easier: Inflate the stability disc more to make it firmer.
Weight should be over the disc-standing leg, with a slight bend in the knee.
Tap the other foot back behind you (keeping weight over standing leg).
Bring the knee in, tap toes to the side.
Your body weight will naturally want to shift along with the actively moving leg. Maintain that form as the active legs moves from the back, in, side, in, back, etc.
Repeat set for 1 minute or until failure.
Repeat other side.
Making it easier: Inflate stability disc more and/or make the taps close to the disc (smaller motion)
Straight Leg Swings
Find your balance on the stability disc, keeping weight over the disc-standing leg.
Rotate the body forward (think Warrior 3 pose) with active leg straight and pointing. The body should be perpendicular to the disc-standing leg, parallel to the floor.
Without touching the ground with the active leg, lean back to standing, pointing the leg and toes forward in front of you.
Repeat as many times as possible without touching the active leg to the ground, repeat other side.
Making it easier: Touch down after each set, Inflate disc to make firmer, leave a bend in the knee of the active leg.
You have no excuse not to do these moves. The disc can be in your living room while you watch tv, in the kitchen while you're making dinner, in your car for random outtings.
Make it happen and your ankles will thank you for it.
Wacces is the leading manufacturer and distributor of sport products for the health and fitness industry and kindly sent me the stability disc for my fitness training and to help you learn some new training moves!