In Jacksonville cheerleading, athletes are expected to be physically fit all around. Not only are they expected to maintain considerable strength in the torso, arms, and legs, it is important not to forget the ankles and the wrists. It can be easy to say that the ankles and the wrists can be considered as two of the most delicate parts of an athlete’s body. If an athlete falls on these the wrong way, it can be very easy for the ankle or the wrist to sprain, or even break.
Fortunately, taping and bracing are available to help athletes’ ankles and wrists function like they normally would, without the injury. Combined with proper rest and rehabilitation, taping and bracing can help aid an athlete’s recovery, and bring them back, stronger than ever. However, some cheerleaders have come to rely too much on taping and bracing their ankles and wrists to shoulder the strain that these body parts normally do.
It is important to carry out exercises in order to get maximum use and to strengthen your ankles and wrists, in order to help boost your physical performance, as well as to help minimize future injury. Here are some exercises you can perform in order to strengthen your ankles.
Make sure that you stretch your ankles accordingly before performing any of these exercises. If you forget to stretch and warm up your muscles, you risk causing strain or spraining your ankles by shocking your muscles into physical activity without prior warmup.
To start small, you can slowly rotate your ankle around slowly as if spelling out the letters of the alphabet.
You can conduct balance training as well by standing on one leg for thirty seconds at a time, slowly working up to a minute per leg. With a partner, you can catch and throw a ball back and forth while standing on one leg.
Strengthening exercises for the ankle can be performed with a thera-band for resistance training. Place one end of the band can be placed around the top of the foot. While carrying out these exercises, curl your toes at the end of each movement to strengthen internal muscles.
Like wrist exercises, there are four motions to carry out ankle strengthening exercises. These are: Inversion, Eversion, Dorsiflexion, and Plantar Flexion. You can also do a calf raise in order to strengthen the muscles that surround the ankle. These can be carried out either sitting or standing in order to strengthen both the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon.