Ankle Exercises

Helpful Strengthening Ankle Exercises

Most people dismiss the idea of ankle exercises until they have an injury that requires them to start doing them.  Your ankles take a beating everyday from the time you get out of bed until you finally go to sleep.  They carry your weight and support your movement so it only makes sense that you should devote some of your time to strengthening them.  Below are the top ankle exercises that are simple to do yet offer some really great benefits.

Modified Chair Pose

Many people underestimate just how effective yoga is at healing, strengthening and aligning the body.  The first of the ankle exercises comes from the yoga practice and is commonly referred to by Yogis as a modified chair pose.  To begin, you will stand with both of your legs together.  As you elevate yourself to stand on your toes, raise your arms up so that they are straight out in front of you.

Next, you will bend both your body as well as your knees so that your thighs become parallel with the floor.  Continue to hold this pose in a controlled manor for 30 seconds.  If you find that this is a bit too challenging, you can perform the pose with your back pressed against a wall for support or simply hold your positioning for less time.  The important thing is that you remain in control of your body.

Plantar Flexion

You will need a table or chair for the next set of ankle exercises.  Standing in front of either item, hold on to it for balance.  You should not be using the table or chair to lean on but rather to simply steady yourself.  Bend your right foot behind you so you are standing on your left foot.

Now slowly raise your body up onto the toes on your left foot and hold for six seconds.  Return down to starting position and repeat 10 times.  Switch legs.

Sun God Transition

Next on the list of ankle exercises is actually a combination of the sun god and five-point star yoga poses.  You will begin in sun god pose by pointing your toes in an outward angle, bending your knees and lowering yourself until your thighs and the floor are parallel.  Your elbows should have a slight bend and your forearms ideally will face forward.  To engage the muscles located on your upper back you will squeeze your shoulder blades together.  This is your starting position.

Next, you will spread your fingers wide and raise your forearms at an angle.  Straighten up your legs and come all the way up on your toes.  You should feel this stretch through your whole body.  It will strengthen and stretch your ankles.  In a slow and controlled movement, sink all the way back down into sun god.  You will repeat this 5 times, aiming to hold the pose for 30 seconds at both the top and the bottom.  If this is too intense, lessen the time that you hold the pose.

Ankle Dorsiflexion

Return back to your table or chair for this set of ankle exercises to use as support.  Rock your weight backward onto your heels so that your toes rise off of the ground.  Keep this position on your heels for six seconds.  Slowly return back to a standing position.  Repeat this 10 times.

 

Inversion And Eversion

Sit on the floor with your knees straight, feet out directly in front of your body and lean up against a wall for support.  Slowly turn your right foot inward.  Hold this position for five seconds and then turn your foot outward and continue to hold for another five seconds.  Repeat 10 times not resting in between repetition.  Repeat the set of 10 on your left foot.

Dance Pose

The last of the ankle exercises requires a good amount of balance and flexibility so you may need to slowly work yourself up to this one.  Begin with your legs pressed together.  Bend your left knee to force your foot to point upward behind you.  Grab onto the inner arch of your left foot using your left hand so that your palm is facing the sky and your toes are pointed.

Next you will raise your right hand up and reach for the sky, really feeling a stretch all the way to the tips of your fingers.  Lean your entire body so you are folding it in half until your fingers become parallel with the floor.  Really lean into the stretch and hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on your right side.