Although there are multiple factors responsible for ankle sprains in soccer players, several studies have shown that weak hip extensor muscles contribute to this type of injury.
In a joint study by the University of Isfahan in Iran, The University of Southern California in Los Angeles as well as a Belgian study of youth athletes, showed that reduced hip strength was a contributing factor in ankle sprains in soccer players of varying ages.
The theory is that when the hip muscles are weak, the foot and ankle muscles overcompensate causing you to alter your trunk position. In other words, you lean toward the weak side. In essence the foot and ankle muscles overcompensate and allow your ankle to roll.
In several of these studies the authors suggested that hip strengthening exercises could be integrated into soccer training programs to help reduce ankle sprains.
Other factors that contribute to ankle sprains include the athlete’s weight (heavier being higher risk) and underdeveloped hip muscles in the very young athlete. Dr. Chieppa covered pediatric sports injuries in kids not too long ago, where he uncovers trends in ankle sprains.
If you’re an athlete, be cautious in how you train. Try to get various opinions on different muscles to train depending on what sports you play. All great athletes are fully developed and have spent time training all parts of their body – even the minor muscles.