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Exercises to strengthen the ankles

Exercises to strengthen the ankles

After the excellent article by our colleague Mario Muñoz about ankle sprains, I have decided to write a small protocol to prevent or recover from said injury.

Guidelines before the exercises:

  • Stimulate the joint motility from the ankle by moving said joint in all the possible directions.
  • Perform proprioception exercises. For instance, balance yourself on unstable surfaces or work on irregular surfaces, on the beach, etc. These will help a lot.

Observations about the strengthening exercises:

  • Do isometric works, that is, maintain the indicated pose.
  • Perform 3-4 sessions per week for at least 3 weeks in order to obtain optimal results. From them on, you should keep doing some of these exercises from time to time.
  • Apart from the 6-7 exercises, run 2-3 laps.

Ankle motility exercises:

  • Flex the ankle upwards as much you can
  • Active plantar flexion
  • Make circles with your ankle in both directions
  • Active ankle eversion (without moving the hips or knee, turn the foot laterally and slowly outwards). Combine it with active ankle inversion (the same but inwards).
  • You can include other elements like walking on your toes, heels, inwards, outwards, etc.

Ankle Strengthening exercises

Do 3 repetitions per set of 15-20 seconds of isometric strength.
  • Stand up with your feet separated and your knees flexed. Put your hands on your knees or hips and raise both heels from the floor.
  • Stand up and put both feet on a step with your heels on mid-air. Push up so that you are standing on your toes.
  • Seat on a chair or on the floor. Put one foot over the fingers of the other. Push up with the feet that is at the bottom while the one from the top resists.
  • Seat on a chair or on the floor. Put an exercise band (or some elastic to create resistance: for instance, elastic bands, the inner tube from a bike wheel… whatever it works) around your ankle and fixed somewhere else (a chair or something else). Then, move your feet inwards and outwards.

Ankle strengthening exercises

  • Same position. Put your thumbs together and push.
  • Same position. Cross your feet, put the external border of your feet together and press them against each other.
  • Press a tennis ball or something similar with the front and back of your feet.
Finally, do some jumping rope as you start feeling that your ankles are strong and stable.

Sources

  • HUNT, Gary C. (1990). Fisioterapia del pie y del tobillo. Ed. Jims.

Related Entries

  • How to Improve the Ankle Dorsiflexion
  • How to Overcome Ankle Instability
  • Ankle Fracture while Doing Exercise
Ankle Strengthening Exercises Review

Motility - 100%

Strengthening - 100%

Repetitions - 100%

Execution - 100%

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