Spend any time bouldering and eventually you’ll land awkwardly and roll an ankle.  This fall can definitely result in a sprained or even broken ankle.  However, just like any climbing injury, there is injury prevention work that you can do to help minimize the severity of and even prevent ankle sprains.

To explain, here’s an article by avid rock climber and physical therapy student Brent Hashiba from the Climbing Doctor Blog that outlines exactly how climbing shoes compromise ankle stability and gives you several simple exercises to help you strengthen your ankles and prevent sprains.

“Strengthening is a crucial aspect in reducing the frequency of any injury as it will restore muscle balance, position the joint in a more stable position, increase the load the ligaments may resist, and allow the muscles to act as passive stabilizers for the joint. So if you are jamming your foot into tiny climbing shoes, you may want to try these simple exercises to prevent ankle sprains. Why? Because you can’t crush V16 with a sprained ankle.” – Brent Hashiba

Exercises for Preventing Ankle Sprains:

When it comes to preventing ankles sprains caused by bouldering falls, strengthening the ankle to improve lateral stability is key.  With that in mind, Hashiba recommends two exercises that target lateral stability.  They are:

  • Resistance band wraps
  • Bosu hip raises

For both of these exercises, Hashiba provides step by step instructions as well as photos to make proper form very clear.  Additionally, he provides recommendations on numbers of sets and reps making these exercises extremely simple to add directly into your injury prevention program.

Exercises like these may seem like a time consuming hassle, but they take very little time and are certainly worth the investment if they save you from several weeks or months sidelined by an ankle injury.

Full Article: Preventing Ankle Sprains

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(photo courtesy of theclimbingdoctor.com)

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