Say No to Recurrent Ankle Sprains!

Say No to Recurrent Ankle Sprains!

It is often said that ankle sprains are worse than fractures.  If you have ever had a bad sprain,  I am sure you agree with that statement.  It certainly takes a long time for the ankle pain and swelling to subside, but did you know that an ankle sprain turns off the same sided gluteal muscles - specifically the gluteus medius?!?

Medical research has shown that after an ankle sprain, the gluteus medius does not activate properly.  The gluteus medius has important work to do:  hip abduction, which is movement of the leg away from midline in the open chain (open chain - foot not touching the ground).  The gluteus medius has an even more important job when the foot is touching the ground (closed chain) which is to stabilize the pelvis and maintain the center of a person inside of their cone of stability.  These researchers saw that soccer players returning from an ankle sprain did not maintain a stable leg alignment - increasing the probability of another ankle sprain - because their gluteus medius was not stabilizing pelvis! 

While ankle swelling and pain, limits your ability to bear weight through the effected leg.  Start working the gluteus medius with open chain exercises.


These are two open chain exercise options for increasing  the strength of the gluteus medius.  The exercise done lying on the floor is the easiest option - the Hooked on Pilates HANDIBANDS is being used to help the effected leg move upward into hip abduction.  The standing option is more difficult because now the HANDIBANDS is supplying resistance to hip abduction.

This is an intermediate closed chain exercise (the effected foot is now on the ground so it is necessary to be able to weight bear without pain).  The exercise focus is to maintain the alignment of the left hip centered over the left foot as the bent knee presses into the wall (in this example into the mirror). If the gluteus medius is not firing, the left hip will bow outward and the left hip will not be aligned directly over the left foot.  Often there will be a corresponding leaning of the body toward the opposite side - in this case toward the mirror.  I do have a video of this occurring on the Hooked on Pilates Instagram page - please check it out or ask some questions....!  If you find this information, please pass it on!  Thank you!!!!


Back to blog