Weak ankles may put you at increased risk of injury due to problems with balance, stability and altered locomotion. Conversely, strong, mobile ankle joints will allow for efficient gait, increased propulsion, improved ability to navigate uneven terrain and a reduction in injuries at other joints throughout the body. Use this ankle strength exercise to help your ankles.
Strengthening the muscles surrounding and acting upon the ankle joint can be easily added into your daily routine with no equipment required. The simple act of calf raises can improve the flexibility of the foot and big toe, activate the plantar fascia and musculature of the foot arch and strengthen the calf muscles.
Those with weak ankles however will typically roll the ankle joint outwards when performing a calf raise, in the same manner one would likely roll their ankle unexpectedly, often resulting in injury. To better activate the appropriate musculature and to improve proprioception, adding a small ball between the feet, just below or above the ankle joint. This will encourage all the muscles to work together effectively, including the peroneal muscles along the outside of the shin and the deeper posterior tibialis muscles running beneath soleus and gastrocnemius. Any weaker side will have added support and slight assistance, further retraining correct use of the musculature.
Directions | Ankle Strength Exercise
A soft ball may be more comfortable to place between the ankles/lower shins. Use a wall for support if required.
Gently maintain a light squeeze to keep the ball in place, raise both heels together at the same pace and rise up onto the tip toes
Think about grounding down through the ball of the big toe throughout the movement
Keep awareness of good posture throughout by keeping your core muscles engaged and ribcage stacked over pelvis.
This exercise is easily fitted in throughout the day but as a guide, perform 10 repetitions for 3 sets easily before increasing to 20+ repetitions and 6 sets. Once this is achieved, practice working without the ball or add weight.
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Ankle Strength Exercise
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