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ANKLE AND FOOT INJURY REDUCTION

PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS


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About this Document
No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission from the author.
The exercise information presented on these pages is intended as an educational resource and is not intended as a
substitute for proper medical advice. Consult your physician or health care professional before performing any of the
exercises described on these pages or any exercise technique or regimen, particularly if you have chronic or recurring
medical conditions. Discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert.
Neither the author nor advertisers of this manual make any warranty of any kind in regard to the content of the
information presented and accept no responsibility for its misuse.

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Alan Stein | Blair ODonovan | Steven Tikoian

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Introduction
A basketball players feet are extremely important. There are approximately 26 bones and 20 muscles in the
feet. That fact alone should explain the reason for their significance.
Basketball is (supposed to be) played standing upright on two feet. Therefore, every movement a player
makes on the court is initiated by their feet. Every shot, every rebound, every pass, everything starts with the
feet. With that said, you can understand why the most common injury for basketball players at every level
is the ankle!
Strong , mobile ankles and feet will lessen the occurrence of injury, decrease the time lost if an injury
does occur, and will improve performance on the court.
Every time you run or jump, you are performing an action known as triple extension. That is extension at the
ankles, knees, and hips. If any one of those joints is not working properly (weak or tight), it limits the function
of the other two. So weak, tight ankles limit a players ability to run and jump to their potential. Having weak,
tight ankles will also cause the body to compensate in a variety of ways during movement - which can lead to
knee and back issues. Remember, everything starts with the feet.
The same thing happens when you land from a jump or during each step when you run. The impact is
supposed to be dissipated through your ankles, knees, and hips. If your ankles are immobile and cant move
through a normal range of motion, that force and that impact is now directed to the next link in the chain - the
knee!
Weak, immobile ankles cause additional stress on the knees when landing and running.
This program provides a series of exercises and drills to increase the strength and mobility in your ankles and
feet.
NOTE: We are only suggesting barefoot training for players with healthy feet and no pre-existing conditions
(unless cleared by a doctor). Players with excessively high arches, previous stress fractures, or ankle sprains
should avoid barefoot training (or at least make severe modifications) to reduce the chance of injury.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Ankle Workout #1
Foot Rolls: 2 sets of 30 seconds each foot
Foam Roll (Calves/Shins): 2 sets of 30 seconds each leg
3-Way Ankle Stretch: 3 reps of each position (hold for 5 seconds each)
Single Leg Ball Circles: 10 around the waist circles eyes open, 10 with eyes closed
Single Leg Balance and Foot Reach (45 Degree Post Lateral): 2 sets of 8 reps each leg
Single Leg Calf Raises: 2 sets of 10 reps each leg
Wall Dorsiflexion: 3 sets of 15 reps each leg

Ankle Workout #2
PVC Pipe Foot Rolls: 1 set of 10 rolls each position
3-Way Ankle Stretch: 3 reps of each position (hold for 5 seconds each)
Toe Walks (Toes In / Toes Out): 1 set of each (baseline to half-court and back)
Single Leg Balance and Foot Reach (Lateral): 2 sets of 6 reps each leg
Forward Walking Lunges: 1 set of 10 reps each leg
Single Leg Line Jumps: 2 sets of 10 reps each leg

Ankle Workout #3
Foam Roll Calves/Shins: 2 sets of 30 seconds each leg
Ankle Alphabet: 1 set of the alphabet for each foot
Heel Drop Stretch: 2 sets of 20 seconds each leg
3-Spot Balance and Reach: 2 sets of 5 reps each spot
One Leg Weighted Dorsiflexion: 2 sets of 12 reps each foot
Single Leg Clock Jumps: 1 set per leg. Jump to each position on the clock

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Activity Descriptions (Ordered Alphabetically)


3-Way Ankle Stretch

1. Lean into a wall at a 45 degree angle in a staggered stance. Try to keep your back heel on the ground (foot flat).
2. From that same position, move your front leg across your body and keep your back leg exactly where it was.
3. Move your front leg laterally and create a 45 degree angle from your back leg.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

3-Spot Balance and Reach

Visually find 3 different spots on the ground in front of you: #1 is to the left of your balanced foot; #2 is directly in front of
you; and #3 is to the right of your balanced foot. Balance on one leg while keeping only a slight bend in your knee.
Reach the opposing hand towards the ground touching in each designated spot. Return to the standing position in
between touching each numbered area.

Ankle Alphabet

Balance on one leg and use the toes on the other foot to write an imaginary alphabet on the ground. Minimize movement
in your hips.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Foam Roll (Calves/Shins)

Calves: Begin by balancing your body with your hands


while the foam roller or ball is underneath your calf
muscles. Roll from the back of the knee down towards
the ankle. Lean on one leg or the other to emphasize
tough spots.

Shins: Begin by assuming an all fours position. Place


the foam roller or ball under the front of your lower leg.
Roll from your knee down towards your ankle. You can
lean more of your body weight into the roller to place
more pressure on your muscles.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Foot Rolls

Place a lacrosse ball (or tennis ball) directly under your bare foot (you can keep your socks on). Apply pressure and roll
your foot on top of the ball as a self-massage. Do 2 sets of 30 seconds for each foot.

Forward Walking Lunges

Assume an athletic stance. Take a big step forward and keep your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders facing forward.
Keep your front lower leg perpendicular to the ground. Drop your back knee close to the ground and push your body back
to the start.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Heel Drop Stretch

Balance on the power pad of one foot on the edge of a step. Drop your heel into a deep stretch and hold.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

PVC Pipe Rolls


Use 2 PVC pipes (each 3). Do the following exercises for 2 sets of 10 rolls:

Toes Out: Stand on the pipes so that your toes are pointing
away from each other. Roll your feet in towards each other
and then away from each other.

Toes In: Stand on the pipes so that your toes are in a


pigeon toe position.

Split Stance: Place the pipes parallel to each other. Stand


on each pipe and roll both feet away from each other, then
back towards each other.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Single Leg Balance with Ball Circles

Balance on one leg with a slight bend in your hips and knee. Perform the around the waist drill with a basketball while
you continue to balance on one leg. Challenge yourself further by closing your eyes.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Single Leg Balance and Foot Reaches

Lateral: Place 2
basketballs laterally on
each side; approximately
3 feet away from where
you are standing. While
balancing on one leg,
reach one foot towards a
ball. Return to the
starting position then
reach with the same foot
behind your body to the
other ball.

45 Degree Post Lateral:


Same as above, except
in this drill the balls will
be farther behind you at
an approximate 45
degree angle.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Single Leg Calf Raises

Balance the power pad of your foot on an elevated surface. While keeping your leg straight, let your heel drop into a deep
stretch then push up onto your toes and pause briefly. Lower your heel back down to the starting position and repeat

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Single Leg Line Jumps


Find a line and perform the following jumps:

Front-to-Back: Jump
forwards and backwards
over the line.

Left-to-Right: Jump left


to right over the line

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Single Leg Clock Jumps

Balance on one leg and jump to the 12 oclock position. Balance yourself after your jump, and then jump back to the
starting position. Continue on each leg until youve gone all the way around the clock.

Single Leg Weighted Dorsiflexion

Place one weight plate (10 lb or 25 lb) on the ground and put your heel on the edge. Hold the other weight plate straight
up and place it on your top of your shoe (towards your toe). Hold onto the weight and lower your foot until it touches the
ground, then drive your toes up as high as you can and pause momentarily. Lower back to the start and repeat.

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ANKLE & FOOT INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Toe Walks

Keep your heels elevated and walk on the balls of your feet from the baseline to mid-court. Perform 1 set of walking with
your toes pointed in and 1 set with your toes pointed away from each other.

Wall Dorsiflexion

Lean back against a wall with your feet approximately 12 inches away from the wall. Keeping your heels on the ground,
raise your toes as high as possible and pause. Lower your toes until your feet touch the ground and repeat.

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