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Fitness Friday: Strengthen your ankles for great golf

Every week Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. Here's his advice for keeping your ankles strong and healthy to support a dynamic golf swing. Look for Weekend Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest

Here's Ron: Golfers might complain more about their sore backs or knees, but when it comes to frequency of injury, no joint in the body takes more abuse than the ankles. Sprains, strains and fractures come easy and often for athletes, and weak ankles are a common problem for golfers starting to play again after a long winter's layoff.
"When you think about it, your ankles don't seem like they offer enough support for the abrupt and awkward movements of a 200-pound body," says Golf Digest fitness advisor and former PGA Tour trainer Ralph Simpson. "But in reality, the ankles are very durable. Sure, you can twist them and tweak them from time to time. But compared to the amount of stress they endure, they are amazingly durable."
Golfers injure their lead ankle (left for right-handed golfers) more often since it serves as the pivot on which the body rotates during the swing. But the uneven terrain of golf courses puts the other ankle in nearly as much peril.
Whether you're being reactive or proactive in dealing with an ankle sprain or strain, fitness expert Mark Verstegen offers exercises in Golf Digest's March issue to better prepare for battle. Click on the link here to get Mark's advice.

Ron Kaspriske
Fitness Editor
Golf Digest

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