Prehab! Feet and Ankles

Posted on: March 19th 2013

banded ankle Inversion

Today’s workout isn’t exactly a workout to get your heart rate up and your sweat on. It’s a PREHAB session – a routine to help minimize ankle injuries and keep your body in kick-ass shape for kicking ass on the track. This is the preventative work we should all be doing to keep REHAB at bay.

For the premiere of the Roller Derby Athletics Prehab workout, we’re targeting feet and ankles. We’ve all seen a scary/nasty ankle injury on the track, complete with grisly before-and-after X-rays showing splinters and bolts, respectively. Naturally we all want to avoid that! Not to mention the usual sprains and bumps, after-party injuries, and general foot pain and discomfort many skaters experience. This prehab aims to provide the strength and flexibility you need to avoid most ankle injuries, but will also improve your skating through increased calf and foot strength.

Try doing the whole session through the first time – then find ways of incorporating these simple exercises into your normal daily routine. You can do calf raises and alphabets while you brush your teeth, and the band exercises while you watch TV or wait for your water to boil. Easy! Just don’t try doing the eyes-closed balance on the bus…

Here’s the drill:

gear: a resistance band or tubing, a hand towel, a lacrosse ball (tennis or golf ball if you can’t get your hands on the lacrosse ball).

Pre-hab:  Do 30-60 seconds per foot of each of the following:

  1. Alphabets
  2. Towel pulls
  3. Towel inversions
  4. Towel pick-ups
  5. Foot flexion + Extension
  6. Eversion
  7. Inversion
  8. Foot circles
  9. Calf raises
  10. One-foot calf raises
  11. Proprioception exercise
  12. Eyes closed one-foot balance

Finish up with the three stretches (hold each for 30 seconds): Calf Stretch 1 (straight leg) and 2 (bent knee), and Rolling with the ball.

Watch the video for the technique and explanations.

Do these exercises regularly, and your foot and ankle stability, strength and resilience will see huge improvements. Feel free to measure how long it takes you to get tired for each exercise the first time through. Make some notes, then check back again in a month or two and see where you’ve made some improvements!

Pre-hab not Re-hab! Happy Skating!

7 thoughts on “Prehab! Feet and Ankles

  1. I had to share this immediately with my league. Can’t wait to see more Prehab – it’s a fantastic focus!

  2. So excited for this! We are in the process of getting a league together and we’re all concerned about ankle strength right now. Thanks for this!

    1. I’m so glad you like it!

  3. Thank you! I frequently have pain in my calves when I skate. This is exactly what I was looking for!

  4. This is awesome. I was recently told by a physiotherapist that my ankles are very “loosey goosey”. She gave me a resistance band and some exercises, but I gotta say, yours seem much easier for me to do!

    1. I have lots of ‘loosey goosey’ joints too, Kelly! I would recommend sticking with at least some of the exercises your PT gave you though – she will have assessed your specific situation and knows best what you need! :)

  5. I’m so glad to find this! I start Fresh Meat on Monday, but I’m a little worried because I have weak ankles thanks to multiple sprains and strains over the years. I’ve been looking for an ankle program for a while with no luck. This looks perfect! Thank you!!

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