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How to strengthen my ankles
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chicane Offline
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How to strengthen my ankles
To start I know I'm not in particularly good shape, but I am working on it.

I'm working with a good trainer at a local gym. Recently I did a 260lb. (130lbs in each hand) farmer's carry for 4 laps at the gym. I weigh 190, so it's not really heavy. Afterwards my ankles were pretty sore for a few days. Obviously my ankles are going to be limiting some of my exercises, so what do you recommend I do to strengthen them?
12-30-2018 09:51 PM
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Bienvenuto Offline
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RE: How to strengthen my ankles
(12-30-2018 09:51 PM)chicane Wrote:  To start I know I'm not in particularly good shape, but I am working on it.

I'm working with a good trainer at a local gym. Recently I did a 260lb. (130lbs in each hand) farmer's carry for 4 laps at the gym. I weigh 190, so it's not really heavy. Afterwards my ankles were pretty sore for a few days. Obviously my ankles are going to be limiting some of my exercises, so what do you recommend I do to strengthen them?

Killer glutes, weighted and body weight. one leg planted, slight bend, perform a ballet tendu with the other leg out backwards and to side 45 deg. 45 times. Then straight behind to your 6 o'clock. 45 times.
To immediate side 45 times.
back 45 degrees again.. 45 times = one set.

try 3 sets. Should get the burn in your left side glute and down your whole leg. But if you post the standing leg hard and firm - then all the pressure will be going through your ankle and will strengthen it.
play with sets and reps.

calf work. weighted calf raises on step. up on 2 down on 1, alternate different sets. 3x20

Heavy heavy calf raises with a slightly bent leg.

hands on wall. lean into wall at 45 degree angle. Explode one knee up toward wall, other calf flexing hard - hold the contraction for 15 seconds, feel that burn.
3 x 6.

(the calf work will work your ankle as well by default. If you are serious then I would recommend Paul wade (aka Pavel Tsatsouline) Calf workout in Convict Conditioning 2.

2 and a half year programme with all the progressions but if you work through all that as part of your conditioning you will most likely have calves and ankles that won't trouble you again.)

After all that.

sit on floor, legs in front. Different level (colour) therabands flex your feet in all directions (to left side/ to right side/ back toward knee/ forward away from knee) 3x12 to 4x15 rep range.

recovery at other times: on your back, feet and legs up the wall at 90 degrees , SLOW foot circles with straight legs, SLOW foot flexion forward and back. That will improve your ankle mobility and stimulate the calf pump (lymph drainage system) in your calves which then helps to drain toxins and helps to rejuvenate your legs.

BUT.

2 things.

1. Ankles giving way are a sign of movement problems, there may be problems with tight/weak muscles, poor gait elsewhere and under pressure your ankles are the weaker joint that sounds the warning.
Most people have bad alignment, badly tracking knees, bad foot pronation, eversion.
Thats what happened to me. I knew I had bad knee injuries but I played a game of rugby anyway and was on crutches with fucked ankles for two weeks after.
When I went back to my physio he just laughed but explained that they were the sign that my injuries 'upstream' were affecting my movement patterns 'downstream' and across the board. under pressure of constant running and full on contact all those little movement compensations then fucked up my ankles.

Trigger point work to release the muscles in the feet, the shins and the calves will help free up the ankles to move and flex properly.

2. You can't Just strengthen them. Have to unstick - mobilise the tissue as well. get hold of Crossfit/mobility Wod voodoo bands. get a good bunch of 4 or 5 and wrap the ankle joint tighter and tighter with each band.
Then use an elasticated band to do a distraction on the muscle/ joint for a good 5 -to 15 minutes whilst they are wrapped.
If you haven't already got a copy of "becoming a supple leopard" and "ready to run" then I would heartily recommend those books for tweaking weaknesses/ injuries in your own body.

hope that this helps/ gives you ideas.
(This post was last modified: 12-31-2018 02:19 AM by Bienvenuto.)
12-31-2018 02:10 AM
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