When you play sports or hit the gym, your knees and ankles are some of the most vulnerable areas of your body. Running hard, making quick cuts, lefting big, and using explosive movements can weaken these key joints and increase the likelihood of injuries.
Work these knee and ankle-strengthening moves into your training and you’ll find a great way to decrease your risk of injury—no matter what your workout entails.
Ball-squeeze squat: Place a ball between your thighs and squeeze. Slowly squat down until your knees are bent 90 degrees or as low as you can. Do three sets of 12 reps.
Large-step lunge: Take a big step forward with one leg and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Bring the rear leg forward to return tot he starting position. Do three sets of eight to 10 reps.
Knee-to-wall mobilization: Stand a foot away from a wall, push one knee forward until it touches the wall and hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets of 10.
Standing-ankle ABCs: Find a semi-rigid pillow or cushion and place it on the floor. Stand on it with one foot and balance (you can touch a wall for support). Trace the alphabet with your support foot, making shapes resembling an A, B, and so on. Run through the alphabet three or four times per foot.
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