HELP! Weak Ankles

HELP! Weak Ankles

Post by Raven Resear » Wed, 28 Jul 1993 07:17:32


My ankles are getting worse, and I'm starting to fear that they'll be the
eventual cause of my having to stop running (a scary thought).  Hardly a
month goes by without some kind of a twist or little sprain, but the worst
was 3 years ago when I had to be in a cast for a month.

Can anyone recommend a VERY stable shoe that might help me.  I've been
running in Nike Air Anodynes for the last year, and while they're pretty
good, they could be better.  Or any other solutions????  I'm careful to
stay on level surfaces, and take it easy when I can't.

Thanks

  --Larry

 
 
 

HELP! Weak Ankles

Post by Richard L. Goerwi » Wed, 28 Jul 1993 12:46:12

Quote:
Raven Research writes:

>My ankles are getting worse, and I'm starting to fear that they'll be the
>eventual cause of my having to stop running (a scary thought).  Hardly a
>month goes by without some kind of a twist or little sprain, but the worst
>was 3 years ago when I had to be in a cast for a month.

This might sound obvious, and again I emphasize that I'm not a big-time
runner.  But wouldn't it make sense to do specific exercizes that stren-
gthen the lower portion of your leg and foot?  Running straight over and
over isn't just *** the joints, it's a narrow way to go about getting
fit.  How about jogging every other day, and doing something else in-
between?  Or taking part of your run time to run a couple of blocks side-
ways and backwards, to give your leg an all-around workout?

I hope this helps.  I had weak ankles, too, but haven't had a problem
since I started doing the above.

--




 
 
 

HELP! Weak Ankles

Post by Shishir Gundavar » Wed, 28 Jul 1993 22:05:53

Here are some stretches and exercises for the Ankle. Again, I want to thank
all the people who responded to my post a couple of weeks back.

--Shishir

              Ankle Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises

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Organization: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
              Department of Computer Science

This one will really strengthen your ankle. I don't know where you can
find this thing, but maybe you can make one:

     An ~18 inch flat circular piece is mounted to an ~6 in half sphere.
     Put one foot on the flat piece, and steadying yourself with a wall
     or something, lift the other foot up. Now rotate your ankle around
     a bit. If you don't break your neck doing this, you should have a
     strong ankle soon.

                               yer foot here
side view:                 ========================
                                 x           x
                                  x         x      <- this is the half sphere
                                     x    x

Ok, get a wooden ball, about 6 inches in diameter. Saw it in half. Glue one
of them to the bottom of a 18 inch circular piece of plywood, in the center.
Flip it over, and try to stand on it with one foot. Hang on. You might
need to rough up the bottom of the sphere and the top of the plywood to
keep from sliding around too much.

No doubt someone will sell you one for $100, but you could probably make one
for <$10.

Another: Tie a small loop in each end of a 5 foot length of *** tubing,
the type used in chemistry labs for connecting burners to gas outlets.
Put one loop around the leg of a post (sturdy table or chair may do).
Sit down, put the other
loop around your foot. With your leg straightened, pull the tube out
straight. Now keeping your heel in place, rotate your foot out-in-out-...
Actually this instantly cured my inside (anterior) compartment syndrome,
but also strengthens your ankle. Again, this is probably available in
finer sporting goods shops for $30, but also available at a hardware store
for about 50 cents.

top view of tube:
                   * *                     * *
                  *   *********************   *
                   * *                     * *

                yer foot here             post here

                 <--- stretch foot this way, then back again, then...

You want a *** band effect.                      

(You're sitting, with legs outstretched, foot pointing upward, with the
loop around your foot)

My personal favorite: Go to the West Prong Trail in the Smoky Mountain
National Park, and run for 2 hours at an easy pace. If you can avoid being
eaten by a bear, falling off a cliff, or being bitten by a copperhead,
your should have strong ankles soon. No doubt you can spend a few thousand
dollars on a vacation here, but for...Ok, just run off road anywhere. Pavement
kills.

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Organization: U.S. Air Force

|> >     An ~18 inch flat circular piece is mounted to an ~6 in half sphere.
|> >     Put one foot on the flat piece, and steadying yourself with a wall
|> >     or something, lift the other foot up. Now rotate your ankle around
|> >     a bit. If you don't break your neck doing this, you should have a
|> >     strong ankle soon.
|>
|>                                yer foot here
|> side view:                 ========================
|>                                  x           x
|>                                   x         x     <- this is the half sphere
|>                                      x    x
|>                                        
|>
|>
|>                                          
|> Ok, get a wooden ball, about 6 inches in diameter. Saw it in half. Glue one
|> of them to the bottom of a 18 inch circular piece of plywood, in the center.
|> Flip it over, and try to stand on it with one foot. Hang on. You might
|> need to rough up the bottom of the sphere and the top of the plywood to
|> keep from sliding around too much.
|>

Or sit down, put your foot on it, and touch the plywood to the floor,
toe, heel, left, right.  Do lots of reps.

If you want to get fancy, you can add a strap to hook your foot so it
doesn't slide.  I've seen commercial versions of this contraption with
weights at the toe and heel and each side of the foot.  

You want to be sure and exercise each direction, no matter what method
you use.  If one muscle group ends up stronger than another, then you're
ripe for an overuse injury.

|>
|> >Another: Tie a small loop in each end of a 5 foot length of *** tubing,
|> >the type used in chemistry labs for connecting burners to gas outlets.
|> >Put one loop around the leg of a post (sturdy table or chair may do).
|> >Sit down, put the other
|> >loop around your foot. With your leg straightened, pull the tube out
|> >straight. Now keeping your heel in place, rotate your foot out-in-out-...
|> >Actually this instantly cured my inside (anterior) compartment syndrome,
|> >but also strengthens your ankle. Again, this is probably available in
|> >finer sporting goods shops for $30, but also available at a hardware store
|> >for about 50 cents.
|> >Richard "I-don't-have-any-malpractice-insurance" Barrett
|>
|> top view of tube:
|>                    * *                     * *
|>                   *   *********************   *
|>                    * *                     * *
|>                                    
|>                                          
|>                 yer foot here             post here
|>
|>
|>
|>                  <--- stretch foot this way, then back again, then...
|>
|> You want a *** band effect.                      
|>
|> (You're sitting, with legs outstretched, foot pointing upward, with the
|> loop around your foot)
|>

Once again, be sure to exercise the ankle in all directions, or you'll
run into more trouble later.  

A trick I learned was to anchor the tube under the chair or stool I was
sitting in.  I just had to shift a bit to work a differnt muscle group.

And of course, stretch gently before and after any strength training
session.

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Organization: HP Colorado Springs Division

Just stand with your feet at shoulder width and 'roll' your feet along their
outside edges. A wall or chair to hold with your helps with balance.

  A more complete description: Stand flat footed and bare footed. Roll both
  feet to their outside edges i.e. try to touch that knob on the outside of
  your ankle to the floor (if you can actually touch both, you probably have no
  ligaments and are far beyond this exercise). Now 'roll' up to stand on your
  tippy-toes. Then 'roll' and try to touch the knobs on the INSIDE of each
  ankle together. Next, roll back on your heals, and finally 'roll' to the
  outside once more. Repeat 50 times. The actual exercise will be smoother than
  the 4-steps described above and should be just one continuous movement,always
  rotating your 'shin-bone' to the most extreme angle you are able (which
  usually isn't very far.)
     It only takes about 2 minutes, can be done anywhere & anytime, and
  strengthens the whole ankle.

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Organization: GE Research Center

Quote:
> Ok, get a wooden ball, about 6 inches in diameter. Saw it in half. Glue one
> of them to the bottom of a 18 inch circular piece of plywood, in the center.

Excellant advice for strengthening ankles, but the balance board is easier
to make if you cut a 2 inch hole in the center of the board and then just
place it on top of a baseball/bocce ball/lacross ball/cricket ball/whatever.

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Organization: UCLA Computer Science Department

Here is an easy one:  my physical therapist called this "the ministry of
funny walks."  Just walk down the hall on the outside of your feet.  Then
walk back on the insides.  Then walk on the toes, then walk on the heals, etc.

Then there is my personal least favorite/most effective: the terrible towel.
Place a bath towel on the floor, spread out.  Stand at one end with just the
balls and toes of your bare feet on the end of the towell.  Then proceed
to scrunch up the towel under your toes until you have bunched up the whole
thing.  Repeat until you can't stand it any more.  I guarantee you will hate
this one, but you will strengthen the muscles which take up the slack for
damaged ankle ligaments.

Another easy one (akin to the device described to build in previous posts).
Just stand on one foot on something tippy for as long as you can.  Then do it
some more.

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Organization: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
              Department of Computer Science

Quote:
>What is anterior compartment syndrome? I think I want to cure

it but I need to know what it is first!!!!!!

The muscle that runs parallel with your shin bone and calf muscle can
grow quicker than the sheathe that surrounds it can adjust, causing pain.
Mary Decker had it bad enough to require surgery: slicing up the sheathe.
This may not be the exact description. Any running injury book should have
a discussion/picture. I had this problem in my first year of running, about
10 years ago. Got immediate relief, continued for a week, then gone for good.
There is also posterior ...

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