We’ve been here before. Our coaches and athletic trainers told us, but you thought it wouldn’t happen to you. You just rolled your ankle and now you’re wondering do I have to wear ankle braces for life when I play volleyball? Yes and no.
Ankle braces are a wonderful way to protect yourself from this horrible injury. If you talk to your coach, doctor or athletic trainer, they will recommend ankle braces when practicing and playing on the court. Active Ankle and Mizuno Ankle Braces are the top-rated and most commonly used braces around. You can find great deals on both here. However, there are several simple exercises that you can do additionally to strengthen and prevent. Thanks to Active.com, we have listed a few. Perform these after your warm-up and stretching routine to gain the most benefit.
Standing on one leg: Hold for 30 seconds, working up to one minute per leg.
Balance and catch: Standing on one leg, catch and throw a ball with a partner. Make certain to throw the ball right, left, high, low. Perform three sets of 30.
One leg mini squats: On one leg do a half squat with the opposite leg out front for 10 reps, out to the side for 10 reps and behind for 10 reps. Repeat three times.
Strengthening: The ankle can be strengthened in several ways. The first exercise uses thera-band for resisted range of motion. Thera-band can be purchased at a medical supply store. When performing the following exercises, place the band around the top of the foot and curl the toes at the end of the movement to work the internal muscles of the foot. Perform three sets of 20 in each direction.
Calf Raises: Calf raises should be done both seated and standing to strengthen both calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. Perform 3 sets of 20.
Scissor hops: Begin in a lunge position. Jump and switch feet in mid-air landing with the opposite foot forward.
Standing squat jumps: Begin in a quarter squat position. Jump from that position and land softly.
Bounding: On the toes, take large bounding steps in at about 50 percent of running maximum speed. One repetition should be about 50 feet.