Sitting there with a boot around your ankle was definitely on your top things to do in 2015, right? I’ve been there multiple times throughout my dance career, so I have two essential pro tips to give you for this unfortunate situation. First, you get to buy a fabulous new pair of wedges! Definitely not the most intellectual advice I have given as a fitness expert, but hey, you’re sitting there in a boot, I need to make you smile a little. Really though—make sure you have a shoe that is the same height as your boot so you aren’t limping around with uneven legs. I’ve found that wedge booties work best to prevent you from walking like you broke your gorgeous stiletto (those street grates seriously come out of nowhere!) Here’s more good news: After that boot comes off, you will have tons of exercises to do for your ankle, and if you follow this exercise to do list, you will also have extremely toned glutes and abs! Quick anatomy lesson: when you sprain your ankle, your opposite gluteus medius (the side of your cheek) will not function properly. After the boot comes off, your ankle is going to be weak, so you’ll need strong glutes and abs to support it. All you need is a mat, a pillow for your head (optional), and two 5-lb dumb-bells. Lighter is fine, but I wouldn’t recommend heavier as we are activating and stabilizing a muscle that has atrophied a bit.
First and foremost, clear with your doctor that you may take your boot off to do exercises. They are not weight bearing on your foot, but please still check with your doc first! You’ll be lying on your side and back as well as kneeling. Now lets have some fun!
- Clams: Lie down on your side with your knees bent and feet together. Place the pillow under your neck for extra support. Make sure your hips are stacked and your abs are drawn in. Open your top knee up to the ceiling without compromising the position of your pelvis, then gently place it down. (20 repetitions)
- Advanced clams: Lift your shins and feet off the floor, keeping your knees down. Make sure you do not compromise your hip position as you lift your top knee up to the ceiling and down. (20 repetitions)
- Roll-ups with dumb-bell: Lay on your back, pillow under your neck if you are having neck tension, with your legs out straight. Hold the weights, reaching your arms towards the ceiling. Nod your chin into your chest, reaching your arms in front of you, and slowly roll up to a seated position. Keep your arms straight. Once you’re sitting tall, drop your shoulders down, scoop your abs in and roll back down slowly. (20 repetitions)
- Half-Roll Back: Sit up tall, keep your legs straight and make sure your rib cage is in. Hold the weights with straight arms. Pull your abs in tight and roll half way back. If you feel this in your low back do not go as far back. Lift your arms up to the ceiling and back down, slow and controlled. After 10 reps, keep arms and chest height and twist side to side to do 10 more.
- Glute Lifts: Roll onto your hands and knees. Place the weight behind your knee. Make sure your knees are under your hips and wrists are under your shoulders. Pull your abs in, squeeze the weight, and lift your heel up to the ceiling, then slowly lower down. Make sure you do not loose your ab connection. (20 reps followed by 10 pulses up) Repeat on other side.
Do these exercises daily and you’ll be back on track in no time! Even through injuries, we want to help you build yourself. OnPointe.
Author: Kaitlyn Rhoades