Most people aren’t thinking about their ankles and how to strengthen them until they’ve got some sort of ankle issue or pain. By then unfortunately it’s already painful and a little late to ad, but don’t fret, nothing that can’t be undone!
First we’ll talk about some things you can do to address any current pain you might be experiencing at the moment. Conventional wisdom used to be to put ice and elevate a sprain, but one thing constantly overlooked in the “R.I.C.E.” method (rest, ice, COMPRESS, elevate) is, you guess it, Compression. DPT Kelly Starrett and author of “The Supple Leopard” goes into using a compression band on the ankle joint in the video below.
If you’re not suffering from any ankle pain, or once you are pain free, then working on your ankle mobility & flexibility is up next. In this quick video, Eric Cressey of famed Cressey Sports Performance briefly covers one such exercise called High Tension Ankle Mobility:
Once you’ve worked on reducing pain, and gaining mobility, its time to train some stability. An easy modification to any training your doing now, is to add single leg variations of any lower body exercises you may be doing, “Skater squats”, single leg RDLs, and single leg squats. Another thing you can add to any rest day, is training the actual foot muscles, by doing Toe Curls! Yes, although it may sound silly, strengthening the muscles of the foot are an excellent way to train for foot & ankle stability!