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Q&A: Return from an Ankle Sprain

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Q: I recently hurt my ankle playing pickup basketball. What are some exercises that I can do to strengthen it?

A: Ankle injuries are common in athletes, especially those who play sports that require repetitive changes in direction, like basketball. If you want to reduce your potential for another ankle injury, there are two main areas to focus on:

1. Single-Leg Stability

You must be able to balance on one leg and have a feel for where your joint is in space. The medical term for this is proprioception. Not important for you to be able to pronounce, but key for injury prevention. To improve your propriception, train the body in challenging positions with movements like:

2. Glute Strengthening

Studies have shown that the gluteal muscles are weakened after ankle injuries. The gluteals are responsible for controlling the legs when performing all athletic movements. When they work efficiently, the rest of the leg, including the knees and ankles, will be positioned correctly for movement. Try these four movements build strength through your glutes:

Tags: Ankle, Injury, Basketball, Rehabilitation, Q&A