Exercises That Help Strengthen Your Ankles and Prevent Injuries

Sep 3, 2018

As we age, many of us become less active and our lifestyles change. The muscles in our core, lower back and extremities lose strength over time.

Your Atlanta orthopedic doctors cannot stress enough the importance of including consistent core and lower back exercise into your strength program.

Ankle Stabilization Exercises

There are many ankle stabilization exercises that can be included in your regimen. When recommending different programs, we try to consider a patient’s accessibility to equipment in effort to remain consistent.

Many of the following exercises can be done with minimal equipment either at a patient’s home, their local gym or even on the road. Repetition and consistency are imperative to a successful program.

We recommend completing 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps about 2-4 times a week. We also recommend 3-5 reps of 30 second intervals for daily balance exercises.

4-way ankle strengthening with band

Using a resistance band either in a seated position or with a foot hanging off the edge of the bed, the foot is taken through several motions of resistance. There are 4 motions: dorsiflexion (pivoting the ankle upwards), plantarflexion (downwards), inversion (pivoting the ankle in towards the center of the body) and eversion (pivoting the ankle outwards).

Wrap the resistance band around the opposite foot or a solid, stationary object like the leg of a table, and adjust and reposition the band for each motion.

Heel raises (single & double leg)

Heel raises are often recommended in a series of exercises progressing in complexity. Starting on a flat surface, patients use both feet to perform the heel raise.

Next, the patient should alternate sides, just doing a single leg heel raise at a time. Finally, with heels hanging off the edge of a surface, like a set of stairs, they can perform double leg then single leg heel raises.

To help you control the exercise and prevent injury, be sure to have your hand on a stable object like a chair or hand rail. These are called “eccentric stretches” due to the fact that the Achilles tendon and calf muscle are stretched while the muscles contract.

Single leg balance

Starting with feet standing shoulder width apart and hands on hips, the patient lifts one leg off the ground. When lifting the leg, the patient maintains head, chest, abdominal and pelvic position without tilting their pelvis, hips or lower extremities.

This should be done initially on a flat, stable surface before attempting something more advanced like a foam balance pad. To add even more challenge and complexity, this exercise can be done with the eyes closed.

However, but sure the foundational techniques are mastered before attempting this challenge.


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