Netball and knee/ankle injuries, unfortunately, seem to go hand in hand. The sudden stop and change of direction put the knee at risk of twisting and it can result in a season (sometimes career) ending ACL injury. Ankle injuries will affect your ability to be confident on the court and no doubt affect your performance. The best course of action to avoid potentially going under the knife for surgery are the following 3 things:
1. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (trains your hamstring and gluteals to control your knee)
- Stand on one leg with a weight in front (can be a dumbbell, barbell or kettlebell for example).
- Bending from the hip and allowing the knee to bend slightly lower the weight towards the floor maintaining your balance and using your butt muscles.
- Don’t twist your spine or let your knee twist in!!!
- Liftback up to the start positions trying to “drive-up” through your hips.
Repeat 3 sets of 5 on each side 2-3 x week for 6 weeks
2. Single-Leg Squat (improves the control of your hip muscles and control the knee)
- Stand on one leg with or without a weight (depending on how good you are) – preferably in front of a mirror.
- Squat down on leg keeping your knee over your toes and your pelvis level – control through your buttock muscles.
- As you squat feel like you are bending from the hip (as though you are sitting down).
- Go as low as comfortable and return to start position.
- Aim to work on your balance at first – slow and controlled then increase your weights and speed.
3 sets of 10 on each leg 3 x week for 6 weeks
3. Balance and Hopping
- Start by standing on one leg with your eyes closed. When you can master doing this for 30 seconds on each leg 5 times move on.
- Next stand on a cushion, wobble board, trampoline or another slightly uneven surface. Aim to stand on each leg for 30 seconds with eyes closed. Do 5 sets. When mastered move on to the next exercises.
- Mark a spot on the floor and standing on one leg on the spot with your eyes open. Hop on the spot aiming to land on the mark. Count to 3 and then hop again. Aim to do 10 in a row then swap and do the other side. When you have mastered that try to do it with your eyes closed.
Do this 3 times a week for 10 weeks