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Video:5 Exercises to Rehab an Ankle Sprain

with JJ Flizanes

An ankle sprain can be a painful injury, but you can take an active part in rehabbing it through exercise. This About.com video will show you five great exercises to rehab a sprained ankle.See Transcript

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Transcript:5 Exercises to Rehab an Ankle Sprain

Hi, I'm author, speaker and trainer JJ Flizanes of JJFlizanes.com. And I'm here today on behalf of About.com to teach you 5 exercises to rehab an ankle sprain. 

Ankle Sprain Exercise: Tree

First we're going to start off with a tree. A tree is an isometric exercise that works on balance. The reason why this is first is because it activates, isometrically, the connection between your brain and the muscles that you want to work. In a way it's a warm up. It's also a preparation for more intense work for those muscles later on.

Start with your feet hip width apart and transfer your body weight to one side. Lift your foot off the floor and rest it next to your ankle.  We want to balance on this ankle. Lift your chest, bring your shoulders back, keep your abs in. Any time you're balancing, think about being a puppet on a string, and the string is right here and someone above you is pulling you up. Always think about lifting up in order to maintain good balance. 

Ankle Sprain Exercise: Dorsiflexion

The next four exercises should be done seated so that you can monitor the intensity and range of motion of each exercise. The first ankle action that we're going to practice is dorsiflexion. Dorsiflexion is when you use your tibialis anterior to lift your toe off the ground. You're going to do this nice and slow, concentrating on using the muscle to pull your ankle off the ground, only as high as you can go comfortably. Start with 5-10 reps and see how you feel.

Ankle Sprain Exercise: Plantarflexion

The next ankle action you are going to practice is plantarflexion, which is pointing your toe and working your calf muscles. So extend the leg out a little bit and point the toe, and then release and point the toe. Only point as hard as you can comfortably. This is using your calf muscle. It's now stretching the tibialis anterior, what we just worked.

Ankle Sprain Exercise: Eversion

The third ankle range of motion action we're going to do is eversion, where the outside of the heel is coming up. It's a very small motion. It's turning the inside of the foot down and the outside of the foot up. Again, you're going to go as comfortably as you can. Don't force it, just do it nice and slow.

Ankle Sprain Exercise: Inversion

And the last ankle range of motion action we're going to do is inversion, which is pulling the inside of the foot towards you. It's the opposite action to eversion. This is going to help strengthen your ankle rotators.

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