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7 Important Exercises for Your Ankles

How often do you overlook your ankles as part of your exercise regime? Strong, flexible ankles are an important foundation as they help prevent injury whether it is during exercise, or in an everyday routine, such as running to catch the bus. A few minutes of exercise each day can help keep any ankle discomfort and sprains at bay. So, give your ankle joints a little bit of attention by following these ankle-strengthening exercises each day of the week.

 
 

1. Calf Raises (Basic)

This exercise will help stabilize your ankle joints and help you strengthen your calves too. It also activates the muscles that support the ankle joint.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Keep your feet hip-width apart.

2. Slowly raise your heels until you are on your tiptoes, then slowly lower your feet back down to the ground. Take 3 slow counts, raising and lowering your heels. Do 20 repetitions.

 

2. Calf Raises (External Rotation)

In this exercise, we change the angle of your feet by rotating the legs outward. This challenges different muscles in the lower leg. This position will arch your foot more and a strong arch helps prevent the ankle from rolling inward.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Keep your feet hip-width apart, externally rotating your thighs. Turn your thighs outward, at a 45 degree angle.

2. Raise your heels slowly until you are on your tiptoes. Lower back down to the ground. Take three slow counts to raise and lower your heels. Repeat 20 times.

 

3. Calf Raises (Internal Rotation)

Rotating your feet internally will help challenge and strengthen different parts of the legs, keeping your ankles secure.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Position your feet hip-width apart. Rotate at your hip joints and turn your toes inward, so that they are almost touching.

2. Raise your heels slowly, until you are on your toes. Lower them back down to the ground. Count to three as you slowly raise and lower your heels and do the exercise for 20 repetitions.

 

4. Plantar Flexion with Resistance Band

Using a resistance band will help you strengthen the muscles of the arch in your foot. A strong arch will help prevent excessive rolling inward of the ankle.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Sit on the floor (or on a mat) and extend your right leg. Wrap one end of the resistance band around the ball of your right foot, holding the other end in your hands. Keep your toes flexed up.

2. Press your foot, pointing it as far down as you can while holding the resistance band. Repeat to starting position and do 20 repetition, before moving onto the left side.

 

5. Dorsi Flexion with Resistance Band

This exercise pulls your toes toward your body, working the muscles that support your front ankle.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Get a resistance band and sit on the floor a couple of feet in front of a fixed object (such as the leg of a heavy table). Attach one end of the resistance band to the fixed object then loop it over your right toes.

2. Keep your foot angled, toes pointing forward and slowly pull your foot back toward your knee. Repeat for 20 times and then do the exercise on your left leg.

6. Lateral Hops

This essential move is ideal for runners, helping them to strengthen their lower body. Hopping from side to side also helps stabilize the muscles around the ankle.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. With your right foot slightly off the ground, balance on your left foot. Then, hop back and forth over an imaginary line for 30 seconds. Repeat the same motion, this time balancing on your right foot.

2. Take a rest between each set and repeat the exercise for a total of three times.

 

7. Heel Walks

This exercise, works the muscles that support the front of the ankle and also strengthens the feet. Heel walks can be done with or without shoes.

Ankle Exercises

Here's How:

1. Lift both feet so that you are standing on your heels. Your toes should be pointing forward, off the ground.

2. Take 20 small steps as you walk forward. Turn around and walk back.

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Related Topics: health, exercise, strength, flexibility, ankle
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