If you have one ankle that’s stronger than the other, listen up! According to a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, athletes with uneven ankle strengths are nine times more likely to sprain an ankle, especially when landing from jumps. When the muscles surrounding your ankle don't have the same amount of strength in each foot, the impact of the jump doesn't get absorbed evenly, which can result in stretched or torn ligaments. Try some of these exercises to even yourself out:
- Wrap a theraband around the ball of your foot and hold the ends so that it is taut. Wing, sickle and point and flex your foot 32 times each. Move the theraband to your other foot and repeat.
- Spell out the alphabet in the air with your toes. Then circle your foot en dehors and en dedans 32 times each. Repeat on your other foot.
- At the barre, do slow elevés and relevés in first, second and fifth position 32 times each. Then, do slow one-foot relevés 16 times on each foot.
- Place a towel flat on the floor and use your toes to pick it up. When finished, flatten the towel and switch feet.