Ankle sprains are common in youth sports.  Lateral ankle sprains are particularly an issue in youth soccer and  lateral ankle sprains are the most common injury in sports requiring rapid changes in direction.

Because of the burden that ankle sprains place on community, elite and school soccer teams there is a lot of research being conducted to try and identify risk factors for lateral ankle sprains.

A recent paper out of the American Journal of Sports Medicine evaluated nearly 135 youth soccer players(U11-U17.  18% of the injuries sustained during the study period was a lateral ankle sprain.

lateral ankle sprainThe authors had thoroughly evaluated these athletes prior to the season.  They found that hip extension weakness was a significant predictor for the development of a lateral ankle sprain.

The more we learn about sports injuries, the more we realize that we need to look at the entire kinetic chain.  That means we need to focus not only on the ankle in this case, but what is happening with the hips, pelvis and body positioning above the ankle.

Below is but one type of hip extension or posterior chain exercise.  There are many others.  Consult your Coach, PT or Athletic Trainer for specific tips to train your posterior chain and minimize the risk of lateral ankle sprains.


Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

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