Keep Your Ankles Strong with These At-Home Exercises
Weak ankles can sometimes come with the genetic hand you’re dealt. Without conditioning, weak ankles can sometimes lead to injuries like sprains or fractures. Ankle injuries can put you down too, immobilizing you for days depending on the severity. Even worse, ankle injuries often reoccur.
As with many issues, the best way to prevent ankle problems is to stay proactive. Conditioning your ankles to be flexible and resilient can prevent the above issues and many others. We’ve put together a few great exercises you can do every day to make sure your ankles stay strong. These are great exercises whether or not you have weak ankles!
Follow these exercises, and don’t forget to stretch out before starting:
- Flex and point your toes. This is so easy you can do it on the couch! While sitting, raise your feet up. Flex them in that upright position and hold for 3-5 seconds. Next, point your toes and hold that for 3-5 seconds. Do that for at least 10 reps.
- Foot circles. Another easy sitting one! Lift your feet up and rotate your ankle joint, making small focused circles with your feet. Keep them slow and steady and let yourself feel the tendons stretching.
- Circle sway. Stand straight with your feet together. Try to lean forward (not quite as far as Michael Jackson in the Smooth Criminal video). Try to lean to your side, to your back, and then to your other side, making a circle with your body. You should feel a strain in your feet, ankles, knees, and quads as your body balances.
- Heel-toe walks: Walk across the room on your tip toes, and then walk back the other way only on your heels. Have someone nearby to spot you for this one in case you lose your balance!
- Foot rocks. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and rock from toe to heels.
- One-legged squats. This is a much more advanced exercise! A pole or ballet barre is a good tool to help with this one. Start by bending one leg and squat as low as you can, just balancing on one leg. Do 10 reps with each leg.
If you’re dealing with unstable or weak ankles or any other issue with your feet or ankles, we’re here for you. Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, our friendly, knowledgeable podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, is always available to answer any questions. To schedule an appointment, request one online or call us at (317) 896-6655.