4 Easy Exercises to Improve Ankle Strength and Stability

4 Easy Exercises to Improve Ankle Strength and Stability

You may be surprised to learn how much your ankle strength and stability matters. Maybe you think more about hips or knees when it comes to trips, falls, or lower body issues. But strong, stable ankles are essential to prevent falls, injuries, ankle pain, and other biomechanical issues.

Whether you’re an athlete, someone who’s getting older and wants to avoid falls, or are just thinking ahead about parts of your body that need more attention, it’s worth learning exercises to strengthen your ankles. 

At Town Center Foot & Ankle, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer can help direct your exercise plan.

“Dr. Ike” sees new and existing patients from his practice located in Kingwood, Texas. Here are four exercises to improve ankle strength, stability, and flexibility that he often recommends. If you do these exercises a few times each week, you’ll achieve significant results over time.

Ankle alphabet

Use this exercise to improve your ankle joint’s range of motion. Start seated in a chair or sitting on the ground with your knees bent. Work one ankle at a time.

Lifting one leg up slightly, use your raised foot to write the capital letters of the alphabet, one at a time, all the way from “A” to “Z.” Then lower your raised leg, raise the other leg, and repeat the alphabet writing exercise with your other foot.

Ankle circles

Here’s another exercise to help your ankle’s range of motion. You can do this exercise while seated in a chair or while sitting on the floor with your knees bent. Exercise one ankle first, then switch to the other to complete the exercise.

Start by lifting one leg, raising your foot to be clear of the floor. Then make 20-30 clockwise circles with your ankle. After a brief pause, continue rotating your lifted ankle, this time in the opposite direction, for the same number of completed circles. Lower your leg, raise the other one, and repeat the rotating exercise with your other ankle.

Balance on one leg

This exercise focuses on building up your ankles’ strength. You can do this exercise with several variations, depending on how intense you want it to be.

The simplest variation is to stand on one leg for 30-60 seconds, then switch to the other. You can do this exercise while engaging in daily activities like waiting in line, doing the dishes, or brushing your teeth.

You can intensify this exercise by upping the difficulty on your balance. Standing on a foam pad increases the amount of ankle strength you need to successfully balance on one leg.

Work out with a resistance band

You can use a latex resistance band to strengthen your ankles and improve your range of motion. With your resistance band ready, start this exercise seated on the floor, legs stretched out straight.

Wrapping the resistance band around the ball of one of your feet, point your toes straight up, then point them away from you. Repeat about 20 times, and then complete 20 reps of pulling your toes back toward your legs. 

Finally, complete 20 reps with your foot rotated with the toes out to the side and 20 reps with your foot rotated with the toes toward your body. Then switch to the other leg and repeat these sets of reps.

For guidance on using these and other similar stretches and exercises to strengthen your ankles, contact Dr. Ike at Town Center Foot & Ankle. Schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone today.

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