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Updated: Jan 20

What is an ankle sprain?

When a marching band performer sprains their ankle (most often by rolling it), the ligaments that connect the bones are overstretched and sometimes torn. Rehabilitating from this can take anywhere from 3-12 weeks depending on the severity. Failure to fully recover before getting back on the floor increases the odds of it happening again!

Why does it happen?

The foot & ankle are the foundation for all movement. When the joint is not properly aligned and the stabilizing muscles are underdeveloped, the risk of collapsing is much higher. Check out the images below for examples of what this looks like!

Poor alignment contributes to instability.

Good alignment contributes to stability.

What does poor ankle alignment look like?

Take a look at the back of these two performers shoes and you can clearly see the muscle imbalance in their ankles.

Spotting the Risk from Shoes: One way to anticipate the likelihood of an ankle sprain is by examining the wear pattern on the back of a person's shoes.
Varus: If the outer edge of the heel is worn down more than the inner edge, it indicates that the person has a tendency to put more weight on the outside of their foot (Varus). This can predispose them to inversion sprains.
Valgus: Conversely, if the inner edge of the heel is more worn than the outer edge, it suggests a tendency to put more weight on the inside of the foot (Valgus), which can lead to eversion sprains.

What YOU Can Do About It!

Incorporate ankle stability training into your dynamic warmup. Consistent training will develop the ankle stabilizing muscles to reduce risk of injury and improve athletic performance on the floor!

Here are 3 exercises to improve ankle stability:

1.Ankle Eversion

Place the inside half of your foot on the edge of a bench or ledge. Rest your upper body weight directly over your knee. Slowly allow the pinky toe side of your foot to drop until you feel a stretch on the outside of your lower leg, then raise the outside edge of the foot up towards the sky to feel the muscle squeeze. Repeat 15-20 times.

2.Ankle Inversion

Place the outside half of your foot on the edge of a bench or ledge. Rest your upper body weight directly over your knee. Slowly allow the big toe side of your foot to drop until you feel a stretch on the inside of your lower leg, then raise the arch of your foot up towards the sky to feel the muscle squeeze. Repeat 15-20 times.

3.Single Leg RDLs

This exercise improves stability in the leg and will deliver quite the burn down in the ankle! Balance one leg with a soft bend in the knee. Hinge the trunk forward from the hip while driving the leg back. Aim for a flat pelvis and avoid lifting the unsupported side of the pelvis! Do 5-10 repetitions on each foot for 2 rounds.


Want a stronger marching band with better endurance? Book a Forte Athletics Clinic! Email

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Why Stretch After Marching Band?

Static stretching can alleviate muscle stiffness from carrying and playing instruments, aiding in quicker recovery after long marching band practices or shows. This optimizes recovery and reduces risk of injury in the future!

How to Stretch After Marching Band Rehearsal

Below is an effective 8-minute lower body stretching sequence that will be sufficient for most performers.

This is organized into three 2-stretch combos. The moves in each combo flow seamlessly into each other to save time. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds & remember to hit both sides. Enjoy!


Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Marching Band Stretch
Kneel on the floor with one knee. Then gently push your hips forward to feel a stretch in the front of the hip on the kneeling leg. Add a side bend with the arm overhead for a deeper stretch.

Cues: Squeeze the butt muscles and keep the pelvis flat. Avoid arching the low back. Breathe in through the nose, & out through the mouth.

Kneeling Hamstring Stretch

Marching Band Stretch
From the kneeling position, extend the front leg out with a generous bend. Fold the trunk forward at the hip and bring the chest towards the thigh.

Cues: Soft knee bend. Flat back. Breathe.


Z-Sit Stretch

Marching Band Stretch
Sit with the legs in a 90/90 position. Fold the body forward over the front tight.

Cues: Aim for 90 degree angle in the front knee to deepen the stretch. Breathe.

Sidelying Quad Stretch

Marching Band Stretch
Grab the shin of the back leg and pull the heel towards the butt. Then drop down onto the opposite elbow to stretch the front of the thigh.

Cues: Squeeze the butt. Only go as low as comfortable. Breathe.

Straight leg COMBO

Downward Dog

Marching Band Stretch
Press the hips up towards the sky while driving the heels down towards the ground to stretch the calves.

Cues: Drive the heels down.

Kneeling Adductor Stretch

Marching Band Stretch
Take a knee & extend the other leg out to the side with toes pointing forward. Sit down and back to stretch the inner thigh.

Cues: Toes forward. Sit back. Breathe.

Want a marching band that knows how to stretch on their own? Book a Forte Athletics Clinic! Email

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Updated: Dec 11, 2023

What is a Dynamic Warmup?

A dynamic warm-up is like tuning your instruments before a marching band performance, but for your body. Instead of just stretching and holding still, you do movements that gradually increase your heart rate and get your muscles ready to play or perform.
Studies, like those from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, show that dynamic warmups can increase muscle temperature, power, and flexibility better than static stretches.

A marching band dynamic warmup should take no longer than 15 minutes!

The Forte Athletics 15-minute Marching Band Dynamic Warmup will energize your students for a productive rehearsal.

Forte Athletics 15-Minute Marching Band Warmup

Setup: As many columns as possible across the floor, at least 2 arm distance apart.

1. Hip Openers

Marching Band Warmup
Step forward, then rotate the back leg out. Next, raise the leg up and over an imaginary fence. Repeat for 10 yards.

2. Spiderman Lunge w/ Twist

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Lunge forward and place the opposite hand on the ground. Rotate the trunk and reach towards the sky. Repeat for 10 yards.

3. Leaning Atlas Lunge

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Lunge forward then raise the hands in the air and lean towards the front leg side. Feel the stretch in the hips and low back. Repeat for 10 yards.

4. Forward Jog

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Time to pick up the pace. Jog forward at 50% max speed for 20 yards.

5. Backwards Jog

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Keep distance between the feet to avoid tripping. Jog backwards for 20 yards TWO times.

6. High Knee Double Skip

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Drive the knee up towards the chest and bounce two times on the opposite leg. Stay light on the platforms. Repeat for 20 yards.

7. Butt Kicks

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Alternate driving the heel towards the butt to squeeze the muscles behind the knee. Reps are more important than distance. Repeat for 20 yards.

8. Sumo Side Shuffles

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Step to the side and open the arms wide. Then, shuffle the feet and cross the arms in front. The arm position alternates in sync with the lead leg. Repeat for 20 yards in both directions.

9. Carioca

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Cross the trailing leg in front, then behind. Maintain the chest & shoulders facing forward while swiveling the hips beneath. Repeat for 20 yards in both directions.

10. Forward Stutter Step

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
This move is 3-beats. (1)Take a quick step forward then stop your momentum. (2) Gently tap the rear leg. (3) Gently tap the front leg. Repeat for 20 yards.

11. Mario Jumps

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup
Drive one knee to the chest while springing the body straight up as high as possible. The arm opposite of the knee reaches up. Explosive movement off of the ground. Repeat for 20 yards.

Want to make this even more engaging? Play hype music in the background! Feel free to use our spotify playlist for upbeat vibes!


Want a marching band that knows how to warmup on their own? Book a Forte Athletics clinic! Email

Marching Band Dynamic Warmup

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