The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Second Group Functional Training Exercise: Ankle Stability and Ability

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - the second of the promised series of Functional Fitness Training (call it FFT or Bookspan Basics until we create a better name) that you can teach your teams, squads, classes, students, kids, groups, battalions, etc.

Assemble your group in neat rows. Footwear is whatever used for their sport or activity. Stand in front facing forward. Everyone sees your feet and you see each participant's feet. Tell them this Functional Fitness Training exercise is a basic, needed many dozens of times every day, for their sport or activity, and for daily life - ankle stability when rising to toes, stepping down, landing from jumps, running, turning skills, and other motions requiring ankle stability:

  1. Tell everyone to stand straight and lift heels to stand on the ball of the feet
  2. Tell everyone to look down at their own feet. Weight should not shift outward/sideways over the small toes. While everyone holds tip-toe, make sure each participant straightens ankles, shifting weight back over the big and second toe. Prevent teetering and turning outward.
  3. Have everyone stand flat again, then rise to toes again, this time properly without needing to adjust ankles. They should feel the difference - using leg and ankle muscles instead of letting body weight slide sideways, which bends ankles into classic sprain position - turned at the outside (inversion).

Young gymnasts on tiptoes.

Repeat good toe-rising 10 times or any number that suits your group's need - more for groups needing higher training (or groups with poorer memory), faster for teams requiring this skill done quickly in actual use, and so on. Tell everyone they will need this for skill #3 - for stepping down and landing from jumps. This is scheduled for Fast Fitness Next week.

Watch them for good ankle stability practices throughout the team season. Reduce ankle injury from letting the ankle invert (turn sideways). Instead use muscles and conscious control to prevent inversion sprains and turns, and get leg, foot, and ankle exercise, from the many needed neutral-ankle stability needed for varies movements daily.

Each new Functional Training will show you how to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common musculo-skeletal issues during the team season or operational theater.

Send in your ideas for a name for this program. Trainers, Drill Instructors, send in your stories of how you use them in your program.

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

Functional Group Trainings of Bookspan Basics:

Related Fitness Fixer:

Unrelated Random Fitness Fixer:


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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.