One of the most common injuries basketball players get is the classic inverted ankle sprain, better known as a rolled ankle. Jumping for rebounds and landing awkwardly happens all the time, and the more a player can do to avoid any damage if and when this happens, the healthier he’ll be. It comes down to how strong and resistant to sprains we can make the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg and foot. Give these a shot:
Single-Leg Kettlebell Passes
This combination of a balance component and a changing load placement makes the stabilizing muscles of the lower leg work overtime. It seems like a simple maneuver, but maintaining stability gets difficult when the weight of the bell increases. Try sets of 16-20 passes per leg.
Walking around on your heels may look silly, but it’s a great way to strengthen the tibialis muscle, which is key for lifting your toes. Having a strong capacity to do this will also promote ankle-joint stability and resist unnecessary toe drop, which is a foot position that can leave an athlete susceptible to more ankle sprains. Take time to practice all three foot positions: straight ahead, toes out, and toes in.
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