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Ankle Help

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Old
01-20-2007, 04:29 PM
  #1
BryanP
 
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Ankle Help

I'm 18, and I've been playing hockey for about 13 years now.. but the problem is, I've never been any good at it. I've played in the local house league with no interest of pursuing in any for of rep hockey.. for the obvious reason, that I'm not good enough.

Recently (like.. the past 3-4 years).. my skill has been below average, mainly because I'm having problems with my ankles.
I was born with abnormally weak ankles.. as a result, when I stand on my skates, they do an inversion curve, and seriously effect my ability to skate fluently. This hurts not only my ankles, but also my confidence.. lowering me even more.

Anyway, I'm curious to know if there's anything that can add ankle support.
Like, my selection of skates is limited.. but other than that, I've tried:

Taping ankles with clear tape, at the top of the skate and sock/shin pad,
Taping the actual ankles with medical tape.. but since I can't do it properly, it doesn't have an effect,
Tieing the laces around my ankles, tightly..

But nothing seems to work. The tape works all right, but by the end of the game, the tape is so stretched, it's like my ankles sit freely in the skates.

It's really bugging me.. and any suggestions would be welcome.
Thanks,

Bryan

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Old
01-20-2007, 06:34 PM
  #2
Wooty
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I really don't know what "abnormally weak ankles" mean. You can walk and run, you can skate. I don't want to be mean or anything but honestly, I bet you have perfectly normal ankles and have convinced yourself that you don't.

I am wondering if you know what a proper fitting skate feels like.

Get better/stiffer skates.
The more you spend on your skate, the better it will be.
The higher the quality skate, the better you will be. Your foot and ankle should basically be locked into the boot.

The heal is the base.
Your heal should not move sideways or up and down.
Your toes will be able to wiggle. As a matter of fact, you toes should mostly be free.
Your ankle has some flex forward.

I have "normal" ankles and it is not possible for me to let them cave in to the sides. The skates prevent it.

Best of luck to you

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Old
01-20-2007, 09:28 PM
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Keetz
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Don't try to save money on the most important peice of equipment in hockey. Your skates should be your biggest expence! I'm not saying you can't find a heckava deal. I'm just saying buy nearly top of the line, even for beer leagues. Its worth it.

The perfect stride has an inverted ankle anyway, using the inner edge for power, so wheres the problem? Don't judge your ability on how you stand on skates!!! You shouldn't be standing anywhere during the game anyway so as long as you keep moving no ones going to notice.

As long as you skate more than just once a week your going to get better at skating and your ankles will get stronger

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Old
01-21-2007, 10:57 AM
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EmptyNetter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
I was born with abnormally weak ankles.. as a result, when I stand on my skates, they do an inversion curve, and seriously effect my ability to skate fluently. This hurts not only my ankles, but also my confidence.. lowering me even more.
Most people are born with very little muscle tone. They build muscle strength by exercise/repetition of movement. I'm not picking on you but unless you have a degenerative condition I'm not sure why you couldn't build strength in your ankles.

Practice balancing on one foot. You build strength by challenging specific muscles more than they're accustomed. As your balance improves and your ankles get stronger, try it with your eyes closed.
Your eyes would normally tell you when you start to lean, but when they're closed you need to adjust by feel and it's much more challenging. For a different exercise, extend up to your tiptoes, hold the position and come back down. Repeat. For a fuller range of motion you can stand on the edge of a step so your heel dips below the step. Basically, search the internet for hockey exercises or ankle strengthening. You may have weak ankles now but there's no reason you can't fix that. Lastly, consider taking a few yoga classes. A good instructor will show you how a small shift in posture can engage a greater set of muscles or take pressure off a certain trouble spot. The better you understand your body the better it will perform for you.

Most important, be aware of your ankles as you skate and focus on keeping them straight. They won't do it on their own. The more strength you develop in those muscles, the easier it will become.

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Old
01-22-2007, 11:03 AM
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stick9
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A deeper fitting boot will also help add ankle support.

There are tons of off ice exercises you can do to help strengthen that area. Like one legged squats.

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Old
01-22-2007, 12:55 PM
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slidingsideways
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I keep hearing that there's no such thing as weak ankles. I understand the sentiment, but it's just not true.

I have a genetic condition called hypermobility. My body produces defective collagen and elastin. Ligaments and other connective tissues are made from these materials. All of my joints are weak and my ankles especially so. No amount of special strengthening makes a difference.

I don't know about the original poster, but I can't run. I can't walk more than a block without custom orthotics in my shoes. I'm amazed that I can skate at all.

To the OP: find a physical therapist who specializes in gait and get your ankles examined. Custom orthotics with a deep heel cup should help a lot. Good luck!

(Edited to add: inversion means that the foot rolls inward. This puts a skater on outside edges, not inside.)


Last edited by slidingsideways: 01-22-2007 at 02:23 PM. Reason: uh, nice grammar, sliding
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Old
01-22-2007, 01:52 PM
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If you don't just need to work on strengthening your ankle, two things that can give you more ankle support are taping and/or bracing. Since you've said you can't tape them, I'd recommend getting a good ankle brace.

Here's one ankle brace suggestion - I work with the sports med staff at my college, and this is what we get for the football players. I'd say at least half the team uses them, and they work just as well as taping. Probably slightly better actually, because if they start to loosen up you can adjust them, while if a tape job loosens up you just have to redo it or add more tape.

The only problem with a brace is that it might be big enough to give you problems with fitting into your skates. In that case, you might have to look at new skates, and try them on wearing the braces.

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Old
01-22-2007, 10:43 PM
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I've had ankle surgery from years of football injuries. Reconstructive ankle surgery where they had to reattach all the ligaments to my ankle bone with a screw! Anyways a combination of strengthening exercises and taping/brace is the best in my opinion. Do calf raises with your feet pointing in, straight ahead and pointing out. Put a towel under your foot and move your foot(without moving your knee)to the side to pull the towel over towards your other foot. Say your going to work on your left ankle. Put the towel under your left foot with teh majority of the towel away from the left side of your body. Move you foot in a slow wave to grab the towel and pull it towards you. Kinda hard ot explain but ti works. It's also painful as a mother****er. Lots of one legged squats. Standing on a trampeline on one foot. Stuff like that.

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Old
01-24-2007, 12:48 AM
  #9
EmptyNetter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slidingsideways View Post
I keep hearing that there's no such thing as weak ankles. I understand the sentiment, but it's just not true.

I have a genetic condition called hypermobility. My body produces defective collagen and elastin. Ligaments and other connective tissues are made from these materials. All of my joints are weak and my ankles especially so. No amount of special strengthening makes a difference.

I don't know about the original poster, but I can't run. I can't walk more than a block without custom orthotics in my shoes. I'm amazed that I can skate at all.

To the OP: find a physical therapist who specializes in gait and get your ankles examined. Custom orthotics with a deep heel cup should help a lot. Good luck!

(Edited to add: inversion means that the foot rolls inward. This puts a skater on outside edges, not inside.)
FWIW that's not what I meant to say. My wife had a stroke when she was a child -- she suffered muscle damage on her left side and her left arm and leg are much weaker than her right. But by the same token she thought that the stroke had impaired her brain function, too, and that it explained why she was weak in math. Truth is (confirmed by a CAT scan) that she just didn't practice. There are some things like your hypermobility that you have little control over and there are some that you can change. The challenge (for BryanP) is in figuring out which is which.

I'm glad you're still able to skate.

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Old
01-26-2007, 10:33 AM
  #10
colt45
 
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I Am 100% Positive About This

GET RBK PUMPS. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU GET THE 5K 7K OR 9K. I AM GETTING NEW SKATES SOON AND I TRIED THESE ON YESTERDAY. NOT ONLY DID THEY FEEL AMAZING, BUT THE GUY EVEN SAID THEY'RE A BIG HELP FOR PEOPLE WITH ANKLE PROBS. I CAN UNDERSTAND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND ~400$. SO JUST LOOK ON EBAY.

another selection is the CCM Pro Tacks. Personally I didn't like them, but they really locked your ankles into the skate.

whichever you choose, good luck, and remember we all started out not being able to skate in a house league, just have fun.

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Old
01-26-2007, 01:33 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt45 View Post
GET RBK PUMPS. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU GET THE 5K 7K OR 9K. I AM GETTING NEW SKATES SOON AND I TRIED THESE ON YESTERDAY. NOT ONLY DID THEY FEEL AMAZING, BUT THE GUY EVEN SAID THEY'RE A BIG HELP FOR PEOPLE WITH ANKLE PROBS. I CAN UNDERSTAND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND ~400$. SO JUST LOOK ON EBAY.

another selection is the CCM Pro Tacks. Personally I didn't like them, but they really locked your ankles into the skate.

whichever you choose, good luck, and remember we all started out not being able to skate in a house league, just have fun.
I agree with Colt.

I had surgery on my ankle as a child. (Compound fracture). I have the RBK 9K pumps. I have never felt better skating. (I got them cheap though so I didn't spend a ton of money on them.)

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