5 exercises to strengthen and strengthen weak ankle joints

Side view of smiling sporty Caucasian woman dressed in sportswear and with ponytail doing lunges in the gym. In background wall.

Unfortunately, we think about joints only when we start to feel pain. When we talk about the lower part of the body, one of the most common injuries is a sprained ankle. Strong and flexible ankle joints allow us to walk, run, jump and dance. But with even small problems in these joints, the most ordinary walking around the apartment becomes difficult and painful.

Tendonitis and arthritis are two very common sources of ankle pain, which can be alleviated to some extent by stretching and strengthening exercises. In order to get rid of these problems, but also to prevent their occurrence, we bring 5 simple, effective exercises for the ankles that you can do every day in your own home.

The peroneal tendons extend from the outside of the ankle joint and are extremely important in the strength and stiffness of the joint. Therefore, before any activity, especially runners and dancers, it is advised to warm up these joints.

The movement is simple: stand up straight, shift your weight to the outside of your foot and walk with light steps for about 60 seconds. This will help flexibility and strength, but also proprioception, that is, awareness of your joints and their position in movement.

Circling the joints

This movement will strengthen the muscles in and around the joint, which will improve stability in the joint. Sit on a chair and raise your left leg so that the knee is fully extended. Rotate the left foot clockwise 10-20 times, rest for 5-10 seconds, then repeat the movement in the opposite direction, the same number of repetitions. Then do the same with your right leg. Do 3-4 sets of this movement.
You can modify the movement by moving your foot back and forth, as if pressing the gas pedal in a car, or in the left-right direction, as if imitating the operation of the windshield wipers on a car. These movements will improve the range of motion in your feet. As in the first version, do 10-20 repetitions in 3-4 sets.

Stretching with dorsiflexion

Dorsiflexion is a movement in which the foot is lifted upwards, that is, the angle between the foot and the lower leg is reduced. This type of stretching protects the muscles and tendons in the joint from injury.
Sit on the floor with your right leg extended and your left leg crossed in front of you. The foot of the left leg should rest on the inner thigh of the right leg. Take a towel or an elastic band, grab the ends, and pass the middle over the middle of the foot of the right leg and gently pull the toes towards you.
You will feel a stretch in your calf, calf and Achilles tendon. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, then release. Repeat this stretch 4 times, then switch legs. During this stretch, you should not go to the limit of pain, but should keep in a position where the stretch is mild and moderate.
  1. Print the alphabet with your foot
    This task will be fun. Try to imagine that your big toe is a pencil and you need to use it to write all the letters of the alphabet. Sit on a chair, lift your right leg and fully extend it at the knee.

In this position, “write” with your thumb all the uppercase and then the lowercase letters of the alphabet. Then switch legs and repeat everything with the left leg.

  1. Stretching of the Achilles tendon
regular stretching of the Achilles tendon contributes to its flexibility and reduces the risk of its injury. Stand straight, step back with one leg, and keep the back leg fully extended while bending the knee of the front leg to about 45 degrees. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and switch legs. Repeat 2-4 sets on each leg.
You can do all the above exercises in about 10 minutes, so we advise you to allocate that time every day for your ankles so that your walking, running, dancing or any other activity is safe and solid.

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