T Nation

Need to Recondition & Strengthen


Hello all. Basically, ive torn my acl, broken both ankles, several other bones. I'm trying to restrengthen my ankles and knees. I ave jkust started working out again for the first time in three years, and i do several leg excercises in my program(deads, squats), any advice or suggestion would be great.

BTW, i just sprained my ankle realy bad, anyone know any raely good tips for healing it, i need to get back to work.


And you call yourself superman?


hey, 40 hours work a week, my own business, and school 20 hours a week takes its toll. Even superman went down a few times but he always got back up.


If you just sprained your ankle today or yesterday, take anti-inflammatories. Ice it, and keep it taped as much as possible when its not iced. After about 3 days. Until the pain is gone, put heat on it then move your toes in circles for 5 or so minutes, then put ice on it for 5 minutes cycle that on and off as much as you want.

Far as strengthening goes if possible workout as much as possible barefoot. Do not do anything that causes pain. So if your squatting and the ankle feels bad, put shoes on.
rock your ankles several times a day both standing and sitting. (heel to toe and back) ankle hops, get back to jogging and sprinting as fast as possible. Use a tube and spell the letters of the alphabet out while pulling against your toes. carioca(excuse the spelling). Build up to a 1 minute balance on 1 barefoot eyes closed.

Knees, properly squat is about best you get. Start with lightweight and slowly work up. Step ups forward,backward, and to the side. High rep leg extensions done medium or slow paced done with toes pointed out for 2 sets toes pointed in for 1, or 3:1(even better but more sets) set ratio.


If you have bad ankles, it may be a proprioceptive problem...not just a strength issue. Balance work, hopping, skipping, etc. will help once your ankles are healed. As for the knees...how did you hurt them? If it was acute, then you can attack the problem much differently than if it was a chronic thing that built up over time.


all my injuries are from football. My knees seem to be finenow, its my ankles that im worreid about


My advice from my own personal ACL experience and a bad ankle.

Spend TIME in the gym, and TIME in a dynamic environment (track & field). Long term, consistent planning is KEY. Build a foundation, don't try to reclaim past glory too quickly or try to gain improvements too fast. Be PATIENT.

Incorporate into your training the following for your knees:


Peterson Step Ups
Rock Bottom Squats with light weight initially.
Front Squats
Variety of Deadlift movements
Sgl leg calf raises.
Sgl leg exercises for squats
A plethora of movements (variety) for assistance exercises.

***Resistance band adduction, abduction, posterior raises, anterior raises and using a "knee chamber or rechamber" as part of those movements.
Isometric holds on leg extension machine. (Can't believe I just recommended that)

Agility training using cones. Sprints from 10yards to 440yards. Low impact plyometrics.

Use a rotation of higher reps to low reps via a weekly routine for the main lifts. Week 1 10-12, Week 2 8, Week 3 5, Week 4 3-4

Proper warmup, massage, stretching, and good shoes.
Eat clean, plenty of protein, etc. etc.

I did, still do, 2 weeks of high volume (lots of activity) followed by higher intensity lower volume for 2 weeks. Example, lots of assistance exercises, bike intervals, etc. the 1st two weeks, 2nd two weeks I do goal achievement training, higher weights, plyos, and generally rest more. Has worked real well taking me from rehab back into the competitive field of play.

For my ankle, I just listen to it. IF its getting weak, I let it rest. When it feels ok, I push on it good. Make sure you wear good shoes for the purpose.

Hope there is something in there you can use.