Functional & Plyometric Exercises

Functional or plyometric type exercises for later in the rehabilitation process.

Step back

Step back exercises can be used as late stage ankle exercises to increase push-off strength, but will also work the hip and bum muscles.

Teaching Points:

  • Start standing on a small step.
  • Take one leg backwards, touch the foot on the floor and push off with the forefoot to move it back onto the step.
  • Alternate legs.
  • This can be increased in difficulty by performing on a higher step or at a faster speed.

Muscles Worked:

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus

Resistance band jumps

The resistance band jump exercise is a great late stage proprioception test! Hops and jumps can be used in the early stages but using the band adds an extra challenge!

  • A resistance band is wrapped around the waist and anchored or held behind the athlete.
  • They then perform side to side or forwards and backward jumps.
  • The resistance from the band provides a challenge to the balance.

Hopping exercises

Hopping exercises are important in late stage rehabilitation in lots of sports. They help to improve balance, proprioception and explosive strength.

  • Many variations on hopping exercises are available. Start with a small hop on the spot and gradually increase the height jumped.
  • Try hopping to the front, to the side and backwards.
  • Try hopping from one leg and landing on the other.
  • Equipment such as hoops, agility ladders and minim hurdles can all be used to add further challenge.

Box jumps

Box jumps are a form of advanced exercises called plyometrics. They strengthen the entire leg ready for powerful, explosive movements and also aid proprioception development.

Teaching Points:

  • Numerous exercises can be created using a box or step to jump over.
  • To start the athlete may jump sideways over the box, moving rapidly from one foot on one side, to the other foot on the other side. This may also be performed front to back.
  • A further progression is high jumps over the box, firstly landing on two feet and progressing to one.

Related Injuries:

  • Sprained ankle
  • Broken ankle