Jun 19th, 2013
Author: PJF Performance
Category: Performance Enhancement
The ankles are the most commonly injured joint in basketball. Coaches often make the mistake of using “quick fixes” such as bracing or taping the ankles instead of actively taking care of the issue.
In today’s game, it’s not uncommon for players to wear ankle braces and high top shoes to prevent sprained ankles. But is all the extra ankle support working? Not exactly.
Let’s take a look at the shoes they rocked back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Converse. Simple, basic, no “added support”, no “advanced material”. What’s interesting is the fact that in the 60’s and 70’s, ankle injuries were no more common than they are today. In fact, the incidence of ankle injury may be higher today than it was in the earlier days.
So am I saying you should go buy converse shoes? No. I am simply suggesting that the players in the 60’s and 70’s didn’t rely on ankle support, and because of this, they developed strong/mobile ankles.
I’m suggesting that using false ankle support to prevent injury is similar to using Advil to cure a dehydration induced headache. The Advil may cover up their symptoms a bit, but you must drink water to actually take care of the problem. Likewise, bracing may decrease the risk of injury in dysfunctional ankles, but you need strength/mobility to truly take care of the issue.
So how can you train your ankles to improve performance and prevent injury? Watch the video below, read the specific directions, and get to work!
- Perform each exercise for 30 seconds to start. Gradually increase the time of each exercise week to week. If it’s a single leg exercise, perform 30 seconds on each ankle.
- Take 15 seconds between each exercise.
- Do the circuit one time through to start (1 set on each exercise). Around week 4 you can increase to 2 sets.
- Always do the circuit barefoot. You must strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your feet and ankles and stiff shoes will not allow you to do this.
- Perform the circuit 3 times per week. You may do the circuit before or after practice and workouts.