T Nation

Squats with a Sprained Ankle


I was running with my dog earlier today and sprained my ankle. It twisted, made a loud popping noise, and is swollen. Well, today was supposed to be leg day, but after talking to my doc for a little bit she convinced me to take today off. Would I be able to work out legs next monday? Could squatting hurt a sprained ankle? If so, I might just try to work out with leg extensions and curls for a couple of weeks.


I sprained my ankle during wrestling about 8 months ago. I couldn't do much. I did self squats, but I doubt I could have put any substantial weight on it. However, it did heel to the point where I could wrestle and squat within a week, but it still hurt to run. I would start out a little slower and see how it feels, but there is not much you can do to make it worse if you rest and lay off of running.


You don't need to squat that bad. A couple of weeks off won't hurt you, probably do you some good. See Dan John's most recent article.


I've read in a T-Nation article (by Thibs, I believe), that if you train one leg, the other is going to make up for it once you start training it again.

So I would suggest training the leg that is not injured, and then hit them both once you can.


very true...i haven't squatted in a while because I hurt my achilles....spite that, ALL of my lifts have improved..I don't get it.


I JUST broke my foot (not bad at all, really) the day after squatting heavy. I'm still doing RDL, bent over rowing (since neither require much ankle mobility), but today was my first 'squat' day since. I just used one-leg leg press. I might also use extensions.

As for what you should do, I imagine your sprain will heal even faster than my foot. You can stand to take time off of squatting for a few weeks, take advantage of it. Use the time to better focus on your lifts you can still do and perhaps start training your wheels unilaterally. Take the opportunity to be creative and try something else.

I'll also add that there probably isn't a good reason to squat if you're not at your best and able to push yourself to reach new heights. Take it from a guy who loves stacking plates for a squat session and who always looks forward to stacking on more.


I sprained my right ankle last summer, and sprained my left this summer. The first few days are horrible. I was hoping to walk, and squats weren't even on my mind. After two weeks or so, most of the swelling goes down and you should be able to walk.. better. When I went in for a leg day after about two week off, I found that squats didn't bother me at all and I wasn't even 100% yet. Any kind of one legged movement, though, just throw out of your program for at least a month.


I sprained my ankle and did a powerlifting meet on it in the same week. Although the initial sprain wasn't that bad, I would not recommend anyone do that.

RDLs, rack pulls and machines worked for me, and I'm just now getting back to squatting. You should be focusing on healing and rehabbing that ankle.


I had a severe lateral ankle sprain this February that had me in crutches for several days. I took a week off and then like buckeye girl I was back to deadlift variations before very long.

Two weeks after it happened I was ironically able to squat pain free although walking around campus was another story. The hardest part wasn't actually squatting but putting my Olympic Weightlifting shoes on beforehand. If I wiggled to try to fit my foot in I would spasm in pain- wasn't much fun!


Putting on wrestling shoes killed me.


Broke my foot, was on crutches for 3 weeks or so and in a boot for another 4, still was able to do RDL's, extensions, etc (exercises that didn't involve a ton of direct pressure on the foot. Was fine, didn't squat for a while and ended up ok.


I'm going to stick to the deadlift variations like everyone's saying. I'll probably end up doing extensions and curls also. The part that pisses me off most is that I definitely won't be able to do calves for a few weeks. I was just starting to bring those up to the level of the rest of my body. Oh well, better to rest with those then to just fuck it up even more.