Nick, Stu

Tips for Preventing Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common in sports, especially in winter sports such as rugby, netball, and soccer. But you can reduce the risk of injury by taking some simple precautions.

Use strapping or a brace if you have sprained your ankle before

If you have sprained an ankle before, getting your ankle strapped (or wearing an ankle brace), will greatly reduce your chances of re-spraining your ankle. This is particularly important if your previous ankle sprain was recent.

Warm up prior to training and playing

Get to training and games early so you have time to do a thorough warm-up. If you are well warmed up you are less likely to get injured. Warming up is particularly important when it is wet and cold through the middle of winter. ACC’s SportSmart website (, has some excellent warm-up routines specific for rugby, netball, league and touch rugby.

Condition your ankles for your sport

Doing some drills at training that are specific for your sport to improve your balance and strength will help reduce the chances of foot and ankle sprains. An example of one of these drills would be regularly balancing on one leg with your eyes closed for 30 – 60 seconds to improve balance. At Olympic Physiotherapy we can design a specific programme of exercises to help you improve your balance and strength specifically for your sport. Netballers may like to visit Netball New Zealand’s website (, which contains some excellent drills and training advice with regards to injury prevention.

 Choose shoes that are specifically for your sport

Wearing shoes that are designed for the specific demands of your sport is very important. Cross trainers are an overall good choice, however, it is best to use shoes designed for your sport. Nike Free Runners are not sports shoes!

Replace your shoes regularly

You should have started each season with a new pair of shoes, and replace them during the season if they show signs of wear and tear.

Listen to your body

If you experience foot and ankle pain at training or during a game, stop until the pain subsides. If the pain persists, you should ice the painful area and make an appointment at Olympic Physiotherapy for assessment of your injury and appropriate treatment before returning to your sport.


When I was little, I always wanted to be a ballerina. I’m not suXtend-Barre_Studiore that I ever had the determination to make it, but this week I got to relive a little of my dream (I also got to combine it with my more recent love of yoga) at Yoga Dance at Xtend Barre. For a start, the studio is gorgeous – wooden floors, big windows and an open and inviting feel to the space. And the instructor Maria is so lovely. Full of knowledge and grace, she has a clear way of explaining a flowing yoga class that really does make you feel like you’re dancing. Maria broke each Yoga flow down slowly, making sure that we understood the sequence of postures before we picked up the pace a bit. This is where the Dance part comes in. With music playing, you knew where you wanted to go and you could just dance your way through to each posture. Having a knowledge of yoga definitely helps in this class, so you know where your body wants to be in each posture, but you definitely don’t need to be an advanced practitioner as Maria does a great job of talking you through the alignment. The class is a balance of strength and stretching that builds some heat as well as giving you a chance to stretch out any tight muscles you’ve created through some of the other Xtend Barre classes. If you haven’t tried the other classes at Xtend Barre, they are also a great way at bringing out your inner prima ballerina. After attending some great Barre style classes in California, I’m excited that the trend is making its way over to NZ! They’re a great way to work up a sweat and help shape your body into a dancers sleek physique. I would love to hear if anyone has attended classes at Xtend and what you thought!

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Building on the last couple of weeks, Stu is going to show you the High Knees Skip to help improve your running gait. Want to know more about how to use this running drill? Come along and check out the Wellness Room Run Squad on Monday nights.

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