Improve stability, balance and poise

The key to all three? Strong ankles, says Fulham first-team fitness coach Scott Miller

Exercise 1

Balance volleys
Technique Stand in the middle of a bosu ball (from £50 at amazon.co.uk or check out your local gym) on one leg. Once stable, simulate side-foot volleys. Progress this exercise by having a partner serve a ball for you to strike.
How it works Increases strength in the ankle, which will improve balance and protect against injury.
Sets Two
Reps Eight on each leg

Exercise 2

Wobble split squat
Technique Place your right leg on the centre of the wobble board (from £10 at amazon.co.uk or check out your local gym) and extend your back leg into a comfortable lunging position. Once you’re set, lunge forward slowly, until your right leg is at a right angle and your left knee is almost touching the ground. Return to your starting position slowly. Repeat on your left leg.
How it works The movement of the wobble board will force you to focus on your balance, giving you greater stability and poise during a game.
Sets Two
Reps Eight on each leg

More after the break

Exercise 3

Upside down bosu ball throw
Technique Turn the bosu ball upside down so the inflated part is on the floor.  Stand on the hard surface with one leg. Have a partner throw a medicine ball at you. Throw the ball back and continue. Get the server to challenge you with deliveries from different angles.
How it works As well as boosting ankle flexibility it stabilises the glutes, giving you power for jumping and shooting.
Sets Two
Reps Six

Exercise 4

Mini trampoline
Technique Stand in the centre of the trampoline and run on the spot for 20 seconds. Replicate the running technique you would use out on the football pitch.
How it works By running on an unstable surface you will strengthen the ankle, by absorbing and overloading the surrounding muscles. This will give you greater power and agility to push off for explosive changes of direction.
Sets Three
Reps 20 seconds

Also see:
Become a human catapult
Beach fitness

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