Have you ever tried to exercise when your butt (mainly gluteus maximus) isn't working properly?! It is almost impossible to have a good workout when "your butt just isn't in it!" Research has proven that ankle sprains weaken the neural drive to your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius ! Who would have thunk it! Also, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, so take care of it! When it comes to exercise injuries, prevention is critical. And, when injuries can't be prevented, treatment of any soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles) injury during the first 24-72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE).
Faulty footwork used during deceleration (such as coming to a sudden stop) also causes many ankle sprains. If you are moving to your left during a lateral shuffle, the left leg must be in a position wide enough to stop momentum (just wider than the hips). This is commonly known as the athletic position. The left foot should also be pointed straight ahead and the ankle should be pointed upward (with weight on balls of feet). Pointing the ankle upward will help avoid sprained/rolled ankles and make the push off powerful. The knee should also be aligned inside the plant foot to avoid ankle rolls and to take pressure off the hip.