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Strengthen Your Knees and Ankles

Integrate these moves into your workout regimen to minimize your risk of injury

Your knees and ankles are vulnerable when you run or play sports. Work these knee- and ankle-strengthening moves into your regimen to minimize your risk of injury.

Knees

  • 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.

Ankles

  • 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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