Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Isometric and Resistance Exercises for Ankle Lingaments

The ankle joint is a very stable hinge joint that is made up of several important structures. Ligaments work together with your muscles and tendons to propel the body, as well as to support and stabilize the joint. You have ligaments on both sides of your ankle that hold the bones together, three that run on the lateral or outside of you ankle and one thick ligament that supports the medial ankle. To strengthen the ankle ligaments, both isometric and isotonic exercises that equally target both the medial and lateral attachments, can be effective.
Isometric Exercises
The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, recommends that you begin your ankle strengthening program with isometric exercises, which are the easiest to master. Isometric exercises for the ankle involve pushing against a fixed object, such as a couch or bench. To strengthen the inside ligaments, stand with your ankle down and press the inside of your foot, along the big toe bone, against the couch. Hold the contraction for 10 counts and repeat for a total of 10 repetitions. For the lateral ligaments, stand your ankle in the "up and out" position with the outside of your foot pressing against couch. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.
Resistance Exercises
Using a resistance band, you can strengthen both the ligaments that support the ankle joint and the surrounding leg muscles. Place a resistance band around your forefoot while you hold the ends in your hands. Start with your foot flexed back towards your shin. Point your toe or plantarflex as far as you can fully extending your ankle for full resistance. Return your foot to the start position without allowing the resistance to let-up. Repeat the flex-and-point motion 10 times. For the opposite action or dorsiflexion, tie one end of the resistance band around a stable object and wrap the loop over the top of your foot. Start with your foot in full point then flex your foot towards your shin pulling your ankle up as far as you can. Repeat the action for 10 repetitions.
Range-of-Motion Exercises
Range-of-motion exercises are easy to do and can be done anytime while sitting in a chair or relaxing on the couch. Begin with ankle circles, with your foot draw 10 clockwise circles in the air. Repeat the circles 10 times counter clockwise. Next, move your foot in a side-to-side motion for 10 repetitions. Finally, press your foot down and up as if pushing on a gas pedal and letting up. Repeat the motion for 10 repetitions.