Here’s some sad news for all you Beliebers out there: in the midst of his Purpose World Tour, Justin Bieber has suffered an ankle sprain while playing a game of pick-up basketball. The singer revealed his injury (and subsequently altered dance moves) on Instagram last week, saying: “I’m gonna be taking it easy on stage. I sprained my ankle playing ball, smh. All good – I’m still gonna crush.”
Unfortunately, sports injuries of the foot and ankle are very common, even among amateur players like Mr. Bieber. While not completely unavoidable, there are ways you can strengthen your leg muscles to help avoid basketball-related ankle sprains. Try these 3 exercises suggested by NBA Coach Tim Grover via Stack.com and join me in wishing Justin a speedy recovery!
Single-Leg Calf Raise
The Single-Leg Calf Raise eccentrically works the muscles around the ankle so they can better absorb force when you land or change directions.
How to: Perform a Calf Raise on one leg. Once you have reached the top, instead of dropping down and beginning the next rep, focus on taking 5 seconds for your heel to touch the ground again. So 1 second up, 5 seconds down for each repetition.
Sets/Reps: 3x12-15 each leg
Single-Leg Ladder Drills
Performing speed ladder drills on one leg trains your ankles to absorb your body weight in every direction.
How to: This is where you can become creative. Using a speed ladder, warm up using both feet. Once you are warm, do each sequence with only one foot. Try doing a few hops—then stop, go sideways, backwards, and side to side. The possibilities are endless, but make sure you only use one leg at a time and end up with equal exercises for both legs.
Sets/Reps: 15x ladder (choose different patterns)
This will strengthen the muscles on the front of your shins, which help stabilize your ankles.
How to: Begin with a 10-pound plate. While standing, place the corner of a plate over your toes, then dorsiflex your foot to raise the plate with your toes. Increase the weight of the plate as tolerated, but focus on going one second up, then slowly lowering it back down for five seconds.