Strong ankles are important for stability, balance, and injury prevention. Here are some exercises to build strong ankles:
Stand on the edge of a step or curb with your heels hanging off the edge. Slowly lower your heels down, then raise them up as high as you can. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Again, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly rise up onto your tiptoes. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your heels back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Point your toes and make circles with your ankles, rotating them in one direction for 10 reps, then switching to the other direction for 10 reps.
Next, stand on one leg and hold the position for as long as you can, aiming for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch to the other leg. To make it more challenging, close your eyes or stand on an unstable surface like a foam pad.
Start by standing on one leg and hop forward and backward or side to side. Start with small hops and gradually increase the distance and intensity as you get stronger.
Resistance Band Ankle Inversion/Eversion
For this exercise, you will need to sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Wrap a resistance band around the ball of one foot and hold the ends of the band in your hands. Keeping your leg straight, gently pull the band towards the inside of your foot (inversion) and then towards the outside (eversion). Repeat for 10-15 repetitions and then switch to the other foot.
You will need to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Tap your toes on the ground as quickly as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.
Again, sit on a chair and lift one foot off the ground. Pretend your big toe is a pen and “write” the alphabet in the air. Repeat with the other foot.
Find a narrow straight line on the ground (like a crack in the sidewalk). Place one foot in front of the other, so that the heel of the front foot is touching the toes of the back foot. Walk along the line, maintaining the heel-to-toe position. This exercise helps improve balance and ankle strength.
Remember to start with gentle movements and gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of the exercises as your ankle strength improves. If you have a history of ankle injuries or any concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist before starting a new exercise program.