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Ankle ligament injuries - how to rehab

With the football season Approaching, little strains are going to happen. I've experienced ligament damage and the problems with not recovering properly. hopefully, this post will help you should injury occur.

To be honest, Ankle injuries are now happening more and more in combat sports too. Boxing boots are becoming more and more 'soft' and offer less support for more comfort and movement ability. This has its pros and cons, one con being Ligament injuries.


First and foremost, Ligament injuries happen with a stretch or tear. Sometimes you will hear a popping like sound and then experience pain and swelling. Previously, rest and elevation was recommended but now we want to get use of the ankle as soon as possible.


Below is the step by step process we use for rehab with these type of injuries. Head over to our membership area to see a full video on this.


  1. Movement / Mobility: As soon as we can we want to restore full range of motion. As soon as possible, when no pain, begin walking on the foot. You can start doing low level mobility drills within a couple of days to ensure you don't lose range in the joint.

  2. Stretch: As a protective mechanism, muscles seize up to protect a joint. this can leave you tight and again reduce movement. Focus on stretching, mainly the feet and calves which will allow you to get better range, as above.

  3. Isometrics: With injury, its tempting to rest and with this we can lose strength. Isometrics are a great way to maintain strength at the point of injury without having to load. Start with smaller amounts of time, with less effort working up to maximal efforts and increasing duration. This should be enough to keep you going but just ensure to work all directions.

  4. Proprioception: We want to develop and improve our ability to manage the body in space. Reoccurrence injuries usually come when we aren't expecting a level of force to be placed upon us. Proprioception drills will help this. again you want to start lower level and work up. These can be done pretty soon after injury.

  5. Jumping: I have given this a section of its own. Jumping will place the most amount of force through the joint. It is important to build up to this. We like to use bands to reduce total bodyweight and use softer landing surfaces, where possible. You can then progress load weekly and look to move to firmer ground.



Round up


Ankle Ligament injuries are semi common. They don't have to be a long term issue, and actually, if you rehab properly you shouldn't experience any issues again.


Feel free to drop me any questions you have on my Instagram! You can sign up as a member on my site for FREE for video content. Keep an eye for an Elite Performance for combat athletes group coming on Facebook, where you can learn directly from me, get training templates and pick my brains in live Q&A's - all for less than the price of 2 coffees per month. Message me for details.

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