Tips for Keeping Your Ankles Strong

Tips for Keeping Your Ankles Strong

You depend on your feet and ankles every day, of course. Weak ankles make you more prone to falls, accidents, and injuries, so while you might not give your ankles much thought, it’s in your best interest to focus on strengthening them from time to time.

At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports MedicineDr. Michael L. Blackwell provides the expertise you need to guide your journey toward stronger ankles. 

Dr. Blackwell advises new and existing patients from around Texas on the best techniques to build and maintain ankle strength and flexibility from locations in Tomball, The Woodlands, and Kingwood.

With strong feet and ankles, you have a firm foundation for ongoing activity and wellness. Here are some of the exercises Dr. Blackwell may recommend if you want to build up your ankle strength.

Stretching and flexing

Your ankles can both stretch and flex. Stretching and flexing your ankles helps you strengthen and extend your ankles’ full range of motion. Stretching and flexing exercises for your ankles may include these activities.

Draw the alphabet

Lying on your back or standing next to a chair, lift one foot at a time. While flexing your ankle, draw the alphabet with your toes, one letter at a time. Repeat daily.

Flex and stretch

Position yourself on your back with your heels on the floor, toes pointed upward. Slowly shift your feet to point your toes as far away from you as possible, and hold for a count of three. Repeat 10 times. Do this exercise daily for best results.

Resistance exercises

You can build ankle strength using resistance exercises. These require either outside resistance, as from resistance bands, or internal resistance, which you generate using your body.

Hand vs. foot

Use internally generated resistance in this activity. Sitting on a chair, start with the right side of your body, then switch after completing 10 reps.

First, place your foot flat on the floor. Bending down, place your right hand along the outside of your foot. Push with your hand and resist the pressure with your ankle for a count of 10. Then, reposition your hand along the inside of the same foot. Repeat pressure and resistance for another count of 10, before switching feet.

Resistance band push

Using a resistance band, start seated in a chair for this exercise. Work one foot at a time.

Raise your foot off the floor and position the resistance band under the ball of the foot. Keep hold of both ends of the band while you slowly flex your ankle as far down as possible, then slowly return your ankle to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for each foot.

Building up balance and support muscles

Muscles in your legs and feet support the integrity of your ankle joint. Increasing strength in muscles like your calf also increases your ankles’ stability. If you’re concerned about weak ankles, you might benefit from muscle-strengthening and balance-improving exercises like these.

Calf raises

Do this exercise while standing with your feet at hips’ width. Stand on your toes with heels raised, and then slowly lower yourself back down. Do 10 reps daily.

Standing on one foot

Use a chair to help you with this balancing exercise. Stand next to the chair with your feet at hips’ width. Hold the chair and lift one foot off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 — or 20 if you can! Then repeat the balance on your other foot.

Maintaining good ankle health habits

Your daily habits can make a real impact on your ankle health. Stretching and warming up right before getting active can make a big difference. You should also prioritize the right footwear, to protect you from foot pain and ankle instability.

Staying active is important for your whole-body health, in addition to your ankles. Your ankles bear the whole weight of your body, so maintaining a healthy weight makes a difference for your ankles.

For more tips on building and maintaining ankle strength, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. Schedule your consultation online, or call now to book.

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