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how to bulletproof you ankles post injury

Ankle ligament injuries can be common in boxing due to limited mobility caused by boxing boots. post injury, rehab is key to prevent reoccurrence. here is how we helped sunny edwards get back fighting fit.

As you know, if you follow myself or Sunny on socials, his fight in September against #1 IBF rank contender, Jason Mama, was postponed due to an ankle ligament injury a week out.

It was just one of those unfortunate accidents that happens.

Since, Sunny has managed to recover and fight (and beat) Mama in December.

A lot of the focus of that camp, and still now, was ankle rehabilitation. Our first 10 minutes of every session was focussed around that. We then used accessory work to also help.

This week, 6 months on from the initial injury, Sunny measure a massive 2.8m/s on his RSI (reactive strength index) test. To put that into context - 3.0m/s is Excellent, so, considering the injury, this is even more impressive.

But how did we get there?

There is a plan and a process to get from A (injured) to B (better than before) and it can be boring but is needed or reinjury is very likely. A quote to summarise from the champ this week;

" The score should be good, I have been walking holding weights for no reason for months"

Now, it wasn't really for no reason but it is sometimes boring, when the ankle feels better, it's like what is the point.

The walking he was referring to came in phase two of rehab.

In phase 1 (recovery) it was all about reducing swelling, being able to weight it via walking and restoring range of movement. You shouldn't just sit and do nothing. If you can bare weight, then do so.

We began to include slow CAR's (controlled articular rotations) to restore mobility. The more an ankle can move the less chance of going beyond it's range and getting injured. In this stage we also include isometrics in just the upwards and downwards motion, as this was pain free.

Once all other movements were pain free, we added isometrics there to begin to load the tissues.

Phase 2 - rebuilding.

Here we then began actively loading the joint by including the 'boring walks'.

Starting low weight we did a variety of walks including on toes, sideward, heel walks, pronated foot and supinated walks. Distance would initially be a progression and then load. Pain free was our indicator to move on.

Foot strength and proprioception also became a feature here including balances in more controlled ways, where he knew what was coming.

Once all of the above was done we began including low level plyometrics, adding in band assisted variations to reduce overall bodyweight so we could increase volume.

Phase 3 - building

Here we upped intensity, movements and included more reactive work. We developed calf strength with the use of hand supported exercises so we could add slower tempos and more range.

Plyometrics intensified to bodyweight but with low volume, increasing stiffness of the joint.

Load of walks increased and again pain free was our green light.

Once we had been through all of this (post December fight) we were in a place to advance things and look to build beyond that.

Jumps became more explosive, we increased weights and volume and began really dialling in. Single leg work was introduce and again we used the same principles of starting low volume, being pain free and progressing.

Prior to this injury, Sunny's best RSI score was 2.4m/s. As you can see from the pic below it is now higher than that.

This is just due to focussing on the ankle joint and surrounding specifically. If we spent that much time on his Bench, that would be a PB too!

The ankles are now feeling good (touch wood) and we can hopefully (double touch) carry on developing and more maintaining. This will mean less focus and more time for whatever is our next goal.

Round up

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