If you want to see the benefits of strong ankle stability, you should go watch some of the more expert skaters at Chandler Skate Park. With such a great need to shift weight and stay balanced, it would be a disaster if their ankles couldn’t confidently provide the support they need. That’s why ankle exercises can be important for such a wide variety of people. Not only can they help fight against existing ankle instability caused by sprains and other damage, but they can also help prevent these injuries and instabilities from happening in the first place.
If you have weak ankles, even just a few minutes of focused exercise per week can help them gain strength. Before you begin, it’s good to warm up by spending 5-10 minutes engaged in full-body movement. Walk, get on a stationary bike, or dance around a bit—just make sure your whole body is engaged.
Ready? Then mix it up with some of these repetitions:
Heel Raises – Sit with your feet flat on the floor and rest your hands on your thighs. Gently push down as you raise your heels up off the floor. You can also perform this exercise while standing by placing your feet hip’s-width apart and lifting your heels. Carry a dumbbell in each hand for some added effort.
Walking Variations – Ankle exercises can also include different manners of walking. Turn the soles of your feet toward each other and walk on the outsides of your feet, walk on your heels with your toes lifted, and walk on your tip-toes. Switch these forms up, but keep each rep slow at first, and only 5-10 step. Build up to longer distances as your strength builds.
Pillow Balancing – This exercise is as basic as standing one-legged on a pillow. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat up to 10 times. The fluffier the pillow, the bigger the challenge, but be careful not to fall!For advice on more exercises, especially ones tuned toward your goals and activities, contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can request an appointment online or call one of our two offices: (480) 963-9000 for Chandler or (480) 981-1800 for Gilbert. We can help keep your ankles sturdy and your form upright.