Most people have experienced some type of ankle injury or sprain, and these conditions are typically able to be treated. Even though most ankle conditions are manageable with the help of a podiatrist, it is important to care for your ankles and ultimately prevent injuries. The following warm ups and exercises should be done barefoot, and will work to strengthen both your ankles and feet:
Walking/ Marching– Light walking and marching will help you properly warm up your feet and ankles before exercising. It is important to always start with warm ups before completing any type of activity.
Ankle-holding Stretch– This simple warm up should also be completed before doing ankle exercises. Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Then, reach your hands down to your ankles. Hold each hand around the corresponding ankle and stay stretched out for 10-15 seconds.
Ankle Rolls– This is a simple ankle exercise that can be done in a sitting or standing position. Rotate your ankle to form circles both clockwise and counterclockwise. Do 15-20 ankle rolls on each leg.
Ankle Alphabet– The best way to complete this exercise is in a sitting position. Use your ankles to create the shapes of each letter in the alphabet.
Calf Raises– Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Rise onto your toes and stay held in position for one to two seconds. Do 10-15 calf raises on each leg.
Ankle Strength Work with Resistance Bands– Using a resistance band is an easy way to train the ankle in multiple positions and ranges of motion. Exercises like ankle inversions can be completed with the resistance band. In a sitting position, wrap the resistance band around your forefoot and hook the other end to the leg of a desk or table. Move your foot and ankle outwards in a slow motion, going away from the resistance band. Extend your ankle outwards as far as you can without feeling pain or discomfort. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times on each leg.
To find out more information about foot and ankle exercises or how to prevent injury, contact Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois today.