Warm-up Exercises to Prevent Foot and Ankle Injuries

Every day in the US, 25,000 people sprain their ankle. Over the course of a year, 1 million Americans will visit the emergency room because of an ankle injury, with sprains and fractures being the most common complaint. Half these sprains are the result of athletic activity. Many of these sports-related injuries can be prevented simply by doing a few warm-up exercises before a workout, particularly for people who have had a previous injury.  

What can be done to prevent or minimize foot and ankle injuries?

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” might be a cliché, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense. Have ankle joint problems?  Then ankle braces can help you prevent further injury. Using equipment like jump ropes or gymnastic rings? You can still use them, but you simply need to modify your routine. You can see some really nice portable gymnastic rings (and other stuff) that we like here.  

Ideal warm-up exercises for us weekend warriors

Prevent foot and ankle injuries with warmups, University Foot and Ankle Institue

Warm-up exercises for weekend warriors should include Achilles stretches, ankle pops, jumping rope, toe raises lunges and even just walking will all help to warm up the ankles and feet.

But it’s critically important to pick exercises that suit your current fitness level, align with the exercises you plan to do, and accommodate any existing injuries. For example, walking will be better than jumping rope if you already have a foot or ankle injury, but it can be an ideal warm-up exercise if you don’t have an injury and plan to do a lot of jumping during your workout.

Ankle warm-up exercises

Ankle warm-up exercises can be done before any workout routine, from strength training to running. Ankle pump ups involve static-stretching that improves the upwards movement of the foot. Simply point your toes and foot upwards as if trying to touch them to your shin. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat five times on each side.

Follow this with ankle pump down’s, where you point your toes and foot downwards as far as you can. Again, hold for 30 seconds and repeat five times on each side. This stretches the calf muscles and increases ankle plantarflexion, which is the downward movement of the foot.

Foot warm-up exercises

These warm-up exercises can also be done before any workout routine and can help to reduce the risk of injury or be used as part of a rehabilitation routine before usual physical activity. Toe raises help to strengthen the toes and calf muscles. Rise up onto your tiptoes as far as you can comfortably go and hold it for 10 seconds.

You may need to lean against a wall or hold onto something for balance to begin with. Repeat these ten times, rest, then repeat the set another two times. Aim to do this without leaning against or holding onto anything for balance and work towards single toe raises, which put more weight on each side. 

Warming up is for everyone, and we mean everyone!

The bottom line here is warm-up exercises can dramatically reduce the number of people like you who injure their ankles and feet during physical activity. Warm-up exercises also help to strengthen the joints and muscles, further helping you to avoid injury.

So, if you want to stay out of our clinics, and we know you do, please warm-up before working out. ‘Nuff said!

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for your foot care?

If you’re experiencing problems with your feet or ankles, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions. For more information or to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment online now.

Image courtesy of My Fit Station

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