How To Strengthen Your Ankles

Is it possible to twist your ankle or take a fall? As you get older, are you experiencing foot problems such as balance issues and poor mobility? You could have weak ankles.

Sprains occur more often in those with weak ankles. A sprain could leave you disabled for several weeks. Literally, every year, thousands injure their ankles by simply stepping on curbs or slipping on high heels.

Your ankles absorb much of the force you exert throughout the day. That can be very costly.

Good news! You can strengthen your ankle muscles, and the ligaments that surround them. It will prevent injuries and enhance your mobility and stability.

Christopher Travers MS is an exercise physiologist. We spoke to him about protecting our ankles, regardless of age and fitness.

What Your Ankles Need to Know

Travers states that any changes made to your foot or ankle base will have an impact on the other joints.

A weak foundation can have a serious impact on your knees, and cause internal rotation in your hips. Deficient in the base can cause your hip joints, knees, and hip muscles to weaken. You may notice a change in your gait, which can make it difficult to walk.

Travers explained that this is one of the reasons it's crucial to devote time in your workouts to strengthening and stretching your ankles.

What to do before exercising?

It doesn't matter if you do this or not. You know it is essential to stretch your legs before doing any exercise. Did you know that your daily routine should include stretching your ankles?

Stretching your ankles is important, especially if you are going to be doing a high-impact sport like running. Travers states, "You should not go from sitting straight to exercising. It's important to ensure that your ankles are flexible and there is plenty of blood circulation around it.

You don't know how to properly stretch your ankles. These are the easy, daily exercises that you can do in a few minutes.

1. The alphabet can be drawn

It's as easy as A-B–C.

Start by lying down on your stomach or standing. For support if you are standing, grab a solid chair.

As you lift one leg, draw the alphabet using your toes. Next, lift the opposite leg and draw the alphabet with your toes as you flex your foot. Repeat the entire alphabet two times - one for each leg, once per day.

2. Standing calf raises

Now is the time to put your feet on the ground!

To maintain your balance, stand on the edge of an exercise platform or step (if one is available). Place your feet at hip distance apart.

Now, lift yourself as high up as you can on your toes. Then slowly lower your heels. Do this 10 times. Repeat this motion once daily.

3. Supine dorsiflexion

The fancy name for "supine" means "lying on the back." You can also use your ankle to arch your foot toward the ceiling. Dorsiflexion, also called backward stretch, can be done for about 30 seconds. This stretch should be repeated twice daily for each leg (a total time of two minutes). You will need to keep your feet on the ground as our next stretch requires that you lie down.

4. Supine Plantarflexion

While lying flat on your stomach, lean forward and point your toes as if you were being told to. For 30 seconds, hold the position - also called plantarflexion. Continue to relax and do the same for each leg. This should be done twice daily for each leg (for a total time of two minutes).

Exercises To Improve Ankle Stability

Balance is the key to ankle stability. Balance can be achieved by simply standing straight on one foot and practising balance. This will help prevent injuries to your ankles from occurring or reduce their severity. It is possible to stand on one foot while you brush your teeth, do dishes, or watch TV.

You can be more stable with these four exercises. To avoid falling, keep a stable chair nearby so that you are able to grab yourself in case you fall.

1. Single-leg stance (SLS).

This is an easy one. Stand straight up on one foot, keeping your bent leg in place. For 20 seconds, keep your balance. This can be done three times per leg, for a total time of 20 seconds.

2. Forward SLS

This variation of the SLS is slightly modified. Keep your right leg straight and place one knee on each side. Keep your balance and extend your other leg in front. You can hold that position for up to 20 seconds before you return to standing. This can be done three times per leg, for a total time of 2 minutes. It should only happen once per day.

3. Forward reach SLS

This is the third edition of the SLS. Now, you will need to stand straight on one leg and bend your knee slightly. Now, move your opposite arm forward as far as possible without losing balance. For 20 seconds, hold the position. For a total time of 2 minutes, repeat the process three times with each leg.

4. Tandem walk

Tandem walking close to closely is similar to tightrope walking without the danger. A chair won't help you keep your balance because you are in motion. To stabilize yourself, you can walk along a wall and touch it as necessary.

Standing with your feet in front, place one foot on top of the other. Take a step and ensure that your toes touch the heels of the other foot every time. You can also walk backwards if you are able. Cross the hallway or room you are exercising three times, either forward or backward.

Step one - What to Wear? The correct footwear can help protect your ankle from injury or sprain.

Cushioned soles are a good option if your job requires you to be on your feet for most of the day. Running enthusiasts should have their feet professionally assessed. Talk to your doctor. While these exercises can be done safely by most people, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor if you are overweight or have any questions about your exercise routine. An obese person (BMI>25) may have weaker ankles. This is because more weight can lead to weak ankles.

A weak ankle could be an indication of another medical condition that needs to be addressed. A weak ankle could indicate a neurological disorder.

Get checked first. These exercises can be done daily once your doctor approves. These exercises can be incorporated into your daily routine to help maintain balance, stability, and good posture over the long-term.