Sunday, August 3, 2014

Strengthen Ankles for Irish Dancing

 Latex resistance bands are used by dancers at all levels to target specific areas of the body that need strengthening. They can be used for rehabilitation exercising after injury and for ongoing strengthening of the ankles.   They are also very good for the preparation of en pointe work.
When you have an ankle injury......
1. Strengthening exercises should normally be performed once you can bear weight comfortably and your range of motion is nearly back to normal.
2. One of the simplest exercises to start with are the isometric exercises that you can do by pushing your ankle against an object that will not move.
For example....
Placing your foot against a fixed object such as a couch and pushing against it with the side of your foot. This can be done for each side of the foot.
3. Moving on to isotonic exercises which use your ankles range of motion along with some form of resistance.  Using resistance bands are a simple and easy way to complete isotonic exercises.  The band is considered low cost, it's light and easy to carry with you and store.
For ankles, a band of 2m in length will be suitable for most exercises and bands can easily be doubled to increase the resistance as required. 
4. Doing a simple strength training programme will help to build up the muscles around the lower leg and will provide some protection against injury. The stronger your muscles are the less likely you are to sprain or twist the ankle.

Some simple ankles exercises using a resistance band.......
5. Some simple ankle exercises using a resistance band which can be done up to 10 times each every day.
5.1  Tie the resistance band together to make circle, placing it under a stable piece of furniture, chair, bed or table leg.  Put the other end over your toes making sure the band is taut.  Move your toes towards you, hold and release.   Repeat with the other foot.
5.2  Tie the band together to make circle placing it under a stable piece of furniture, chair, bed or table leg.  Sit with your right side to the furniture put the band over your toes and sit far enough away to make sure the band is taut.  Move your foot to the left side as far as you can, hold and release your foot back to the centre.   Repeat with the other foot.
(Make sure its only your ankle that is moving and that your knee remains static and facing upwards)
5.3  Change sides, so that your left side is facing the furniture and repeat
Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise programme. The above text is for information purposes only.

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