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Treadmill Workout For a Sprained Ankle

A Rehab Workout to Strengthen Bad Ankles

When I first started seeing my trainer, he immediately knew I had sprained my ankle a month or two before meeting with him: my balance was off and the left side of my body had become stronger. As my trainer put it, my left side was overcompensating for the sprain in my right ankle. Instead of spending so much time off of my ankle, he wanted me to start exercising on it as a way to make it strong again.

Besides a ton of balancing exercises, my trainer also put me on the following five-week treadmill plan. An interval workout, the plan combines short bursts of walking with running at a reasonable pace. The intervals ensure that the injured ankle is eased back into all the pressures that come from exercising. The cooldown is also helpful — walking backwards helps with balance and engages underused muscles in the feet and legs. Once I got through his five-week plan, I was able to run continuously at a comfortable pace; and with the help of balancing exercises, I am happy to report that my sprained ankle is no longer weak. This is also an excellent workout if you're new to running and want to build up endurance and speed.

See the five-week rehab treadmill workout after the break!

Minutes Speed Incline
Weeks One and Two — do three times a week
Warmup 5 2.5 1.0
Interval Workout 30 minutes total — walk for one minute, followed by 30 seconds of running, repeat Walk: 3.5
Run: 5.0
1.0
Cooldown 5 On tiptoes, walk backwards on treadmill while using the sidebars for support. 1.0
Weeks Two and Three — do four times a week
Warmup 5 2.5 1.0
Interval 30 minutes total — walk for one minute, followed by one minute of running, repeat Walk: 3.5
Run: 5.5
1.0
Cooldown 5 On tiptoes, walk backwards on treadmill while using the sidebars for support 1.0
Weeks Four and Five — do four times a week
Warmup 5 2.5 1.0
Interval 30 minutes total — walk for 30 seconds, followed by one minute and 30 seconds of running, repeat Walk: 3.5
Run: 6.0
1.0
Cooldown 5 On tiptoes, walk backwards on treadmill while using the sidebars for support 1.0

Click here for an image-free printable version of this workout.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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