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Speed Up Your Clients’ Ankle Rehab Recovery- Episode 411

Video Highlights

- How to add a band to enhance single leg work
- Recommendations for which bands to use
- Integrating visual tasks into post-injury rehabilitation

Today we want to focus on a couple of simple ideas that will improve your ankle sprain rehabilitation process.


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Now, you can also use this even if you haven’t sprained your ankles to hopefully make them a little bit more resistant. So this is really good for everybody. You can see that I have attached to my ankle, this is one of the big Patbands by Flexvit, one of our very favorite tools for especially larger movements.

What you can see right now is that I have the band attached out to my right. It’s around my right ankle and it is pulling from inside to outside. So, medial to lateral. The typical ankle sprain for a lot of people is what is called an inversion sprain where the ankle rolls to the outside. So we need to make sure that as we’re rehabilitating we’re getting better and better at controlling this ankle against some additional resistance.

So, I assume that if you’re already working on your ankle, you’re doing things like single leg, standing lunging, single-leg lunges, maybe single-leg squats, moving the upper body, all of that eyes, open eyes closed. The cool thing about adding the band now, is I have to deal with the band pulling me. Accelerating me, or decelerating me into different positions. So, I recommend grabbing a band and tying it to the ankle again in the starting position we want to make sure that we’re pulling medial to lateral.
We’re working on this particular control. In other words, we are forcing the muscles that prevent me from going into this inversion position to work a little bit harder. So, I’m pulling my foot into a more neutral position working on some pronation control.
So now I’m here. Again, begin with maybe a single-leg stance. Go into some lunge work, go into some rotational work side to side. But one of our very favorite drills, once you’re getting comfortable and you’re able to stay and move against resistance for 15-20 seconds comfortably, is to now go into a single leg stance and we’re going to do a crossbody reach. So I’m going to reach down touch the outside of my stance knee. But now as I come up, I want to focus on extending, rotating and looking up toward the ceiling behind me. The reason that I like for our people doing ankle rehab to do a lot of turning and looking over the shoulder is the change in visual picture will often disrupt ankle control. So, you want to make sure that as you’re getting stronger and stronger, you’re now challenging yourself in some unique ways to cause your brain to adapt.

Now, after you have pulled the ankle from inside to outside, we now need to pull the ankle from outside to inside. So we’re working on a different stability requirement. If I was training at home, I would just simply turn around face away from you, but what I’m going to do here is I’m just going to simply shift this to my opposite ankle. So you can imagine this is still my right foot and I’ve turned around facing away, but now I have the stress of the band pulling from again, outside to inside. This is going to offer you, yet again, another kind of unique opportunity to work on coordination and stability, as you’re going through all of your different basic rehabilitative exercises.

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So, make sure that you do this safely. A lot of people when they first start adding in the band, they get very shaky. So you want to make sure you’re doing it in a safe area. Or if you do lose your balance, if you fall, you’re not going to cause yourself any problems. Give this a shot, let us know what you think.
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