5 Exercises to Help Prevent Ankle Sprains

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One of the Most Common Injuries Benching Basketball Athletes

One of the most common injuries seen in basketball are ankle sprains. Approximately, 90% of ankle sprains occur on the lateral (outside) aspect of the ankle from the foot turning inwards and over stretching and injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.1

Rehabilitation is one of the most beneficial parts of recovery and getting back to prior level of function/ participation in the sport. Book your appointment today with a React physical therapist who can get you back in the game quicker Book An Appointment

What if there was a way to PREVENT Ankle Sprains by building strength at the ankle and improving the mobility? Let us show you some exercises!

Ankle Mobilizations: proper ankle mobility is important in order to decrease stiffness for safe mobility for ability to make quick pivots, change of direction, and cuts.

2 Sets x 20 Reps

Talocrural Joint Mobilization: place a thick band such as a Rouge Band along the anterior aspect of ankle where your foot attaches to your lower leg and perform a lunge movement forward.

2 Sets x 20 Reps

Single Leg Heel Raises: this works on your calf strength and balance for improved proprioception.

Single Heel Raise: stand on one foot next to a table for stability if you need it; raise up onto your toes

2 Sets x 20 Reps

Skater Jumps: this works on single leg lateral plyometric work for improved power.

Skater Jumps: start with one foot behind the other in a curtsy lunge position and explode/jump laterally landing on the other foot; maintain balance before performing jump to the other direction

2 Sets x 20 Reps

Cherry Pickers: this is another single leg plyometric exercise though this is focused on upward motion. (Bonus points for performing this exercise on a unstable surface such as an AirEx pad or a BOSU ball).

Cherry Pickers: start in a lunge position and jump upwards driving the opposite knee upwards

2 Sets x 20 Reps

Dead Bugs: Core stability is EXTREMELY important for all contact sports as proximal stability allows safe distal mobility.

Dead Bugs: Lay on your back, brig your arms up to 90˚ and your legs in a 90/90 position; then engage your core by flattening your back to the ground (think belly button to spine), then slowly alternate your arm and leg while keeping your back flat the entire time.

2 Sets x 20 Reps (10 per leg)


1. Beahrs T, Kruckeberg B, Haddad L. Sprained Ankle. OrthoInfo. Accessed 2 Feb 2023. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/sprained-ankle/