View Full Version : question about ankle stability and stress on the knee

10-14-2009, 11:13 PM
Having been a person who's always enjoyed doing things barefoot, I used my nike frees when I started playing tennis again recently. I quickly learned that this was too risky, as it is hard to maintain high levels of conscious control over one's reflexes - once or twice an hour I'd roll my ankle because of a reflexive signal from my brain to veto a commitment to the wrong direction across the court. For example, when coming down off a split step I'd choose a direction of movement, only to suddenly realize it was the wrong one, and I'd find my leg muscles in a state of confusion which could sometimes lead to unhealthy torques.Or my center of gravity would be too high when changing direction, or the base of support wasn't stable enough to hold traction against the direction of movement.

So I bought a pair of ballistec 1.3's and am very happy with them the two times i've test driven them.

However something is bugging me:

Yes the increased ankle support prevents those quick loads and unloads from being absorbed by the ankle, but that momentum has to be rechanneled somewhere, and my thinking is that the next stop is the knees. Is this a valid concern?

My plan is to pay attention to the kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback next time I make a quick unload and assess the impact on the knees. Are there any strategies I can use to most safely rechannel any sudden surges in momentum?

10-14-2009, 11:59 PM
If I were you, I'd just buy and wear an ankle brace like ASO or McDavid to prevent rolling your ankle if you're prone to doing this. Then just play with it and see if your knees start acting up and worry about that next if it happens. Otherwise you're going to overthink yourself to death before even knowing if it may be a problem in the first place.

10-15-2009, 12:19 AM
An ankle brace may provide extra support, but with these new shoes I don't think ankle rolling is a problem. But I am concerned about the potential consequences to my knees and I think it wise to be as informed as possible in advance.

As for overthinking this stuff, I don't do that during play - I like to flow as much as possible when playing.

But I spend a siginficant amount of time training in my head, and refining my mental simulations.

For this, I like to build up as accurate a picture of the biomechanics as possible, so that my simulations are worth more than mere fantasy.

10-15-2009, 09:16 AM
I just recovered from a strained meniscus on the left leg. Since last Oct or so, I've had and have a sprained left ankle, sometimes bad enough to hobble me down stairs with one hand on a bannister.
Bought high tops and ankle supports for the ankle strain, but really only used the shoes.
The knee gets TLC, meaning.....you gotta be smart enough to know when to let the shot past. You're INJURED, so play like it. Use your brains, because your braun is INJURED. Hit a better shot and allow your opponent's best/lucky shots to go for winners. Pick your battles.
Or you can be dumb and run after every ball.

10-15-2009, 09:32 AM
leed, just to clarify - i'm not injured, but your advice seems sound in that you shouldn't go for every ball since that could risk injury.