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I sprained my ankle 3 weeks ago and I was wondering if it would be bad to start lifting again. I'm thinking of doing Leg Press to get started before I tackle squats.

I still lack some mobility in my ankle (pain when stretching) but it is very light. Can I work out safely despite that? (No bar squats don't hurt, except for slight lack of mobility)

I've been skipping leg day because of this, but it's my favourite day.

  • when it doesn't hurt your ankle to lift. Just start with lighter than normal weights and add weight slowly, if at any stage your ankle causes pain, just stop and try again in a couple of days. – Aequitas Jan 4 '16 at 21:26
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It depends on how bad your injury is. When I went through a pretty serious sprained ankle injury, I did a lot of physiotherapy exercises for improving the stability and the ROM of this area before starting leg training again, including treatment with electricity and a very painful stretching massage. Only about 3-4 months after the injury I started working out again, starting with a high rep range (about 15/set) and putting a little effort into separated legs exercises (lunges, single-leg leg press, etc).

My conclusions are the following:

  1. Getting back your stability and ROM is extremely important. My physiotherapist said I could stop when the leg was "almost" back to normal, but today, almost a year later, I still feel a difference in the ankles functioning. Keep going with this training even if you feel your functioning is relatively fine, because the process "stops" when you stop practicing.
  2. Do single leg exercises. Lunges, single-leg leg press and later single-leg squat, single-leg leg curl, and maybe even single-leg calf raise (though I didn't try it myself). The strength difference between your legs increases on every day of "rest", so this is important for "balancing" your muscles.
  3. Get back to everyday functioning as soon as possible (recommended by your doctor, of course), in order to shorten your recovery period.

Hope you'll feel better soon!

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  • I was able to walk right after it happened, but it was very swollen. Next day I felt pain when walking on it, but that was the only day where the pain wasn't manageable. It's been feeling "almost back to normal" since 2-3 day, hence why I'm thinking of bringing legs back into my rotation. – Yousend Jan 4 '16 at 20:51
  • I still strongly recommend consulting with your doctor about that, but in the state you describe it sounds like leg strength training could fit in, moderately and in controlled manner. – Neria Nachum Jan 4 '16 at 20:56

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