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What exercise can a soccer player do to prevent an ankle sprain?

Paul Winsper
Sports Medicine
Ankle sprains can be caused by several factors including impact trauma such as colliding with another player or landing on an unstable surface causing the ankle to roll. One exercise to aid in prevention for ankle sprains is lateral tube walking.  This exercise will help to activate your outer hip muscles, or gluteus medius, which has been shown to be weak in individuals who experience ankle sprain. To perform lateral tube walking, begin by placing tubing around your ankles, ensuring it is taut.  Stand in an athletic stance with your hips and knees slighly flexed and your feet pointed straight ahead.  Take a side step to either your right or left by driving from your trail, or opposite, leg.  For example, if you are stepping to your right, drive from the left leg pushing yourself to the right. Perform 10-15 repetitions in each direction. Also, you will benefit by add some single-leg exercises to your performance training program to help improve your balance and stability.  Exercises such as the single-leg squat and single-leg romanian deadlift will help improve your ankle stability.  When performing these exercises, be sure to keep your knees pointing straight ahead and don't allow them to cave inward. In addition to strengthening exercises, stretching your calves, inner thighs, hamstrings, and hip flexors (holding each stretch for 30 seconds) can improve joint range of motion and help prevent possible injury.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.