This is why the physical demands that this type of race requires are different from those of traditional running. In this article, we show you what you can do to strengthen your ankles and keep away injuries in this joint.
Improve proprioception of your ankles to prevent injuries
Proprioception is a sense of interoception of our organism. The different structures of our body (muscles, ligaments, tendons …) together with vision and balance constantly send information to our brain about their position and state in space. Based on this information, the brain is able to design different responses.
Bad proprioception is associated with a higher incidence of injuries, so proprioceptive training is key, especially in this sport where the support surface is so irregular.
A proprioceptive exercise that we can perform is the following:
This exercise prevents plantar fasciitis, a very common condition in runners of any kind. This is due to the activation of the intrinsic musculature of the sole of the foot. It also reduces the incidence of sprains due to its large proprioceptive component.
The previous video is another option that we can consider as work prior to training.
A common mistake in proprioception exercises is the indiscriminate use of bonus or unstable surfaces. Although its use can take place, in most cases they are not specific to the sport practiced since we do not walk or run on a bonus.
In our case, although we can do it on a smooth surface, it is preferable to include it in our warming in the field or mountain itself, which is where we are going to move.
Strengthen the muscles of your ankles
Not only proprioception is important, so strengthening the muscles that surround our ankles should also be a fundamental part of our workouts.
One of the most common injuries in runners and especially in those with excessive pronation of the foot or running with too much unevenness in the Achilles tendinosis.
The correct management of the training load and the variety in the type of terrain when training is essential to prevent its appearance, but we can perform specific exercises such as ankle flexo-extensions on a step or specialized machine. With the knees extended we will affect the gastrocnemius.
Instead, with the knees extended, we will isolate the sole. For this, we can use a specialized machine in the gym or use our own body weight.
Performing it with our body weight can also be easier to include in our warm-ups as activation work.
With these exercises, we are influencing the plantar flexion of the foot but we must not forget the other functions that our ankles can perform: flexion, extension, supination, pronation, adduction, and abduction.
To work these movements we can use elastic bands as we can see in the first minutes of this video.