So, what does your ankles have to do with your butt! When it comes to exercise, the strength and stability of your ankles affect your butt region and performance.
Your daily movements are dominated with the hips, glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Lateral movement and speed (side-to-side movement) is particularly created and maintained by the strength of the glutes and hips.
You will have trouble exercising when your butt (mainly gluteus maximus) isn’t working properly. Research has proven that ankle sprains weaken the neural drive to your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Who would have thunk it.
When it comes to exercise injuries, prevention is critical. And, when injuries can’t be prevented, treatment of any soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles) injury during the first 24-72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE).
Ankle sprains can be avoided by learning proper landing/jumping techniques and correct running mechanics.
Faulty footwork used during deceleration (such as coming to a sudden stop) also causes many ankle sprains. If you are moving to your left during a lateral shuffle, the left leg must be in a position wide enough to stop momentum (just wider than the hips).
This is commonly known as the athletic position. The left foot should also be pointed straight ahead and the ankle should be pointed upward (with weight on balls of feet). Pointing the ankle upward will help avoid sprained/rolled ankles and make the push off powerful. The knee should also be aligned inside the plant foot to avoid ankle rolls and to take pressure off the hip.
Good ankle stability exercises are:
1. Step ups
3. One-leg balance on foam pad or disk
4. Single-leg squats and Bulgarian split squats
5. Jump rope and jump exercises
You can improve the ankle’s joint proprioception (position sense) and dynamic joint stability with balance training. Doing one-legged exercises will accomplish this goal. One-leg balancing on foam pads or disks for 4-5 minutes (each leg) is a great exercise.
Jumping rope gives you more speed, quickness, agility, balance, coordination, power and knee/ankle/foot strength.
“Cover your butt” by not injuring your ankles!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Her Fitness Hut