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Training with a sprained ankle

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  • Training with a sprained ankle


    Sprained my ankle, 2nd degree ligamental tear but no fracture confirmed by my ortho who slapped a brace on me and told me to stay off it as much as possible for 6-8 weeks, RICE-it, and come back in a coupla weeks for an MRI if still painful. I'm an ER nurse to staying off it isn't an option. Asked about lifting and I got a chuckle and a quick blurb about sticking to training my bench press.

    I understand where he's coming from but I also don't want to die of muscular atrophy. I dread the idea of being stuck on weight machines for the next 2 months but want to prevent turning into a chicken-legged bench presser. I've consulted Mike Israetel's central hub of hypertrophy for training the lower lifts, but everything requires a level of ankle flexion/extension that I'm not super comfortable with yet.

    I know it's not the end of the world to lay off the squatting and deadlifting for a couple weeks, but do you guys have any suggestions for *meaningful* methods to try to preserve as much lower body strength as possible? Or do I suck it up, let it heal, and come back to it when I'm cleared?

  • #2
    I'll just comment by saying what I'd do if If I was in this situation

    I'd probably try to find a way to squat (or otherwise train the legs) that involved minimal ankle ROM (or at least, pain-free ankle ROM), and continue to wear the brace.

    I'd certainly be wearing weightlifting shoes with a decent heel height, and either trying to low bar, pin, or box squat, adjusting ROM and forward knee travel such that the ankle doesn't hurt. If none of those work, I'd try something like a leg press with a similar approach.

    Finally, deadlifting involves minimal ankle ROM, and may be tolerated just fine. I'd consider wearing weightlifting shoes here as well, both to further reduce the ankle ROM necessary as well as the additional support provided by the metatarsal strap.

    Topical NSAIDs like Voltaren might be helpful as well.
    IG / YT


    • #3
      Thankfully I have oly shoes so I'll start DLing in them, thanks for the idea. I like the idea of pin squats that way I don't have a sudden force on the ankle bouncing out of the hole.

      I think I have some voltaren lying around somewhere so I'll give that a try and save myself a gastric ulcer.

      thanks Doc!