The ankles are often the most injury-prone parts of your body used during certain boot camp workouts, and yet, your entire performance is dependent on these joints functioning at their very best. Any damage to them could cease your training immediately. Don’t miss the following tips and precautions you should follow in order to avoid ankle injuries, as well as the best steps to take if they do occur.
1. Perform Ankle Specific Exercises
Much like any part of your physique, you can minimise the chance of future ankle injuries by targeting them with specific exercises. To unlock their full potential, explore movements which focus on flexibility, strength, and balance.
The best way to achieve ample flexibility is to always stretch before and after any intense physical activity. This will promote the tendon’s natural elasticity and allow them to move much easier. Try a few warm-up repetitions such as rolling your ankle, bending your foot up and down slowly, and then standing on your toes for 10 seconds each round.
For strength building, integrate a series of calf raises, squats, and jumps into your workout. Furthermore, consider purchasing a resistance band to incorporate an additional level of endurance into your training. As your joints and ligaments toughen, your overall performance will improve and your body will be better equipped to deal with any possible traumas.
And finally, balance is an imperative skill to develop, as this will teach your feet to act on instinct, landing safely even when you are otherwise distracted. There are many practices you can use in order to enhance your stability, and these include yoga, squatting on one leg with the other leg extended before you, and throwing a ball between people while standing on one leg again.
2. Ensure You Are Utilising the Correct Footwear
If your shoes are uncomfortable, not the right size, or they do not have the necessary support for your arch shape, then your ankles may be under serious threat. When in doubt, speak to a professional who can check that your footwear secures your ankle while still allowing for some free motion. You should also always remember to replace old shoes regularly and to never train in anything other than the footwear designed for the job on hand.
3. Add Support With Ankle Braces
If you have endured a previous ankle injury or commonly feel pain in your ankles during training, then you may want to consider purchasing a brace for additional stabilisation. These products will provide you with compression while limiting your motion, which will also reduce the chance of any repeat injuries. Furthermore, braces can grant you the much-needed peace of mind which will allow you to fully commit to achieving your very best.
However, if you do experience any pain after an accident, speak to a medical professional first and foremost, as an early diagnosis of a sprain is important. One should also be wary of wearing a brace for an extended period of time, as this overuse may weaken the joints if they begin to rely on the external support.
4. Look into Temperature Therapy
A healthy ache between sessions can be an enjoyable sensation, but there are those occasions when the pain is too difficult to tolerate. If this is the case, experiment with temperature therapy. By compressing ice against the area during early stages of the ache, you can help reduce inflammation. On the flip side, you should introduce heat to the ankle after icing in order to increase your blood flow, as this allows your cardiovascular system to come to the rescue much faster. Both of these options will also help relieve pain, and so you should just figure out which one works best for your current situation.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
The body will always require a resting period between strenuous activities, hence why you should never push yourself too hard if you are concerned about your ankles’ performance. You may think you are being brave when you force yourself to continue whereas, in reality, you are actually risking permanent damage. If you tear your ligaments or fracture a bone, you could require surgery which will take months to recover. Simply put, it’s not worth it.