On 16 June 2008 at 00:00 | updated on 16 June 2008 at 23:08

Strengthen your ankles for a better practice

Strengthen your ankles for a better practice

The constant increasing of wheels diameter leads to the same effect on the deck's height from the ground. Keep in mind that speed-skating shoes are low high sized, and the stresses on the muscles and tendons drastically increase. Here are some keep fit exercises to strengthen your ankles...



Why strengthen his ankles?

In the past, the quads (traditional good old skates with 2 trucks) left the foot rest on four distinct supports, providing an unequalled stability in comparison with the thin blades of inline-skates.
Moreover in a lap of few years, the wheel diameter grew from 78 to 80, then 84, 88, 90, 100, 104, 105 and 110 mm!
The human adaptation being not so fast as the stresses on the muscles and tendons of the ankle has increased considerably. Indeed, the increase in the height of the decks and wheels increased the leverage and pressure on the ankle. As a consequence a stronger muscular effort is needed to maintain the foot in the right axis.

What happens when the ankles are not enough stronger?

- When too much thin, the ankle becomes unstable,
- Skater less controls its roller-skates,
- Feet become overpronator or underpronator (leaning towards inside or outside),
- Side effects on upper joints: knee joint and hip joint,
- Injuries may occur easier, and tumble when high speed is reached,
- Skating is less efficient.

As mentioned, there are a lot of reasons for strengthen your ankles: get more power, strike a balance, articular stability, less potential injuries.

Specific body building is needed for ankle's tensors :

- Posterior tibial muscle,
- Sural triceps,
Fibular muscles,
- Anterior tibial,
- Digitorum longus extensor,
- Hallucis longus extensor,

Let us see the way to strengthen all these muscles.

Some keep fit exercises

Most of above mentioned exercises are used by physical therapists in order to treat paining ankles. In spite of this paper, don't miss to make a serious check up.

Running and walking on sand

Walking and running on sand (sea shore) make suppler and stronger your ankles because floor contact may be unstable.
At the same time proprioception is improved.

One's foot equilibrium or "pink floyd"

The whole antagonist and agonist muscles of ankle permanently work when staying equilibrium on one's foot. Furthermore your hands are free to make something in this posture, which enhances proprioception.
In another way, it is possible to hop on one foot in a progressive way, or shut one's eyes to increase instability.

Skipping rope

Nothing like to increase tonus! Thus vertical rather lateral movements are concerned.

One foot hopping on a trampoline

Just like the two last exercises, the unstable area generated by trampoline implies multi-spatial working for the ankle.

Board fixed under a half sphere

Commonly used by physical therapist for the twist treatment, it consists in staying on a board put on a half sphere. It is possible to exercise one or both feet at the same time.

Rolling on slacked off laced shoes

Such a specific method for rolling skate is sometimes used by coach trainers. Especially efficient in indoor, but at low speed because control of rolling skate is harder.


As stretching, muscular strengthen is an important part of training for every sport. In roller-skating, a well-prepared ankle will better bear the many race solicitations as turning, acceleration and sprint. The better control on roller-skates, the better precision and right position, and so on you access to speed and performance!
Ankle strengthen may be performed as a precaution, however look out for ankle pains due to a bad deck adjustment. Be careful of your equipment!

Some useful definitions

Pronation : means heel axis is inclined inside (between legs)
Supination : heel axis is outside
Proprioception : The awareness of the orientation of the body in space and the direction, extent, and rate of movement of the limbs depend in part upon information derived from sensory receptors in the joints, tendons, and muscles. According to physiology the whole sensory receptors working is called proprioception. In another meaning proprioception's goal is to strengthen muscles inserted on each side of the ankle so that consciousness muscular contractions avoid sprain.


Titre du lien 1
Titre du lien 2
Titre du lien 3Text : Alfathor
translated from french by Valino
Photos : all rights reserved
Released  on 16 June 2008 - Read 46727 times

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