If you’re looking to get in shape, ramp up your workout or just build up your fitness routine, then HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a great way to go. However high levels of physical output often leading to high impact on the joints. This means that areas like your knees, hips and in particular your ankles are all under more strain than normal.
What is a HIIT class?
HIIT is a fitness training system that focuses on short bursts of intense cardio exercise, normally done in classes where an instructor will put you through a range of different exercises and routines.
The aim of these is to push yourself to the maximum physical output for short periods of time to get the most out of each workout.
While this activity makes for a great workout to get you sweating into shape, it’s not without risk.
Protecting your ankles
Taking care of your ankles to prevent injury is important in high intensity exercise, especially if they’ve been injured in the past, is crucial to maintaining a consistent exercise routine as well as your general fitness.
Prevention is the best treatment of any injury, and these tips for your ankles will help you take the best care of them that you can.
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Increase strength in the surrounding muscles
When your ankle is injured, it’s normally because the ligaments or tendons have been strained too hard.
To help minimise the risk of this occurring, building power in the ankle can be done in three ways, strengthening, balance and flexibility.
Strengthening: Build strength in the muscles surrounding your ankle joint will help lower the chance of injury. Some great exercises for this include resistance band stretches, heel raises and squat jumps.
Balance: A balanced ankle is less likely to roll and helps get more out of normal exercises. Focusing on exercises that build balance in the ankle like blind balancing, one leg squats and tai-chi, for example, will help.
Flexibility: Flexibility in your joints means they can withstand more before they give way, and is particularly helpful in warm up/warm down exercises. Towel scrunches, ankle alphabet and Yoga all work well in boosting it.
Wearing an ankle brace or support
In cases where you’ve had previous injury or you’re really pushing yourself physically, wearing a brace or support can help prevent injury while still allowing for full movement in exercise.
Using compression to stabilise your muscle is beneficial in most cases, and for those who are a bit more unstable, using a support with an in-built strap or even a semi-rigid splint will prove helpful.
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Resting the ankle
Resting your ankles in the following ways can help their long-term health and resilience to injury:
Wear proper fitting shoes for exercise and day to day work. Arch support, shaped soles or insoles and a proper fit are all non-negotiable.
Comfortable socks that are breathable help to prevent overheating and blood-flow. Consider compression socks during HIIT classes.
Diet affects your ankles a lot, and can change the levels of swelling and inflammation day to day. Cut down on salt and trans fats, and eat more protein and plant based foods.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.
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