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The Importance of Ankle Strengthening Exercises

Many of us have recurring ankle problems.  Whether they be minor sprains or serious ankle injuries that have turned your ankle into a purple softball, they are all awful to deal with.  And how do we deal with them?  Our response to these injuries is to strap on an ankle brace or simply lace our high tops up a little tighter and keep on playing.   Fact of the matter is that neither one of these can fix the deficiencies in your ankles and in some cases may make your ankle worse by creating a dependecy on the braces and high tops themselves.  This will only serve to further weaken your ankles thereby setting you up for future injuries.  Instead of compensating for weak ankles by wearing a brace, strengthen them through some simple exercises and never have to fight ankle injuries again. 

As mentioned earlier, strapping on the high tops can further weaken your ankles.  The purpose of high tops is to keep your ankles in place and they do not allow the foot or the ankle to strengthen itself by being able to move around.  I am in no way telling you not to wear high tops, but try doing your dynamic warmup barefoot.  By doing so, your ankle will be able to move freely consequently allowing the surrounding muscles to develop.  This can only help to strengthen your ankles and pevent future injuries. 

The following video shows three other simple exercises that will serve to strengthen the ankle and its surrounding muscles. 

Ankles are largely responsible for a person’s ability to perform all movements that are necessary for basketball.  Having to constantly change direction and cut back and forth puts great strain on your ankles.  Weak ankles force other parts of the body like your knees and back to compensate, placing them under undue stress.  Having strong ankles will not only prevent ankle injuries, but knee and back injuries as well.  So in the future,  include these simple ankle strengthening exercises in your warmup and/or your cool down and prevent ever having to strap on those ankle braces again.


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