Apr 02, 2020 • 3 min read
While performing sport-specific exercises for the entire body is ideal, focusing on one area can allow young athletes to prepare certain joints and muscles that might take extra tweaking or pounding during play. Ankle injuries like sprains and strains are typically one of the most common issues young athletes experience, whether from laterally cutting across a field, or from stepping on uneven footing. One study published in Injury Epidemiology found that sprains and strains account for over 80% of ankle injuries in youth and college athletes.
“The foot and ankle are made up of bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons that all work together to support the body,” says physical therapist John Gallucci, Jr., DPT, ATC, Medical Coordinator for Major League Soccer (MLS), and CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. “The combination of a large number of structures, the ability to absorb forces many times the body weight, and rigorous demand on the foot and ankle can make it no surprise that foot and ankle injuries can occur.”
Here are five at-home moves Galluci suggests to help youth athletes prep for the next season.
Note: You can also do this stretch with your knee bent.