Ankle strength and stability are vital to maintaining healthy balance and posture in the body. I often notice weakness in the ankles in my clients and it is clear how repetitive imbalances in the position of the feet and ankles create muscular weaknesses and lead to a decrease in the person’s ability to balance.
Ankle stability and strength can make a big difference in your everyday quality of life. Standing in line, reaching comfortably for something that you dropped or hid too high in the cupboard, and landing gracefully in a fall are ways that ankle strength can support you. Gaining strength in the feet and ankles often doesn’t take much effort as most people do not put their attention on these areas.
Ankle Circles: Before you arise in the morning or retire at night begin to circle your ankles slowly and deliberately in one direction 10x. Try to feel each little part of the circle. If you do it right you will start to feel fatigue in the muscles. Repeat to the other direction.
Flex to Pointe: Lift one leg up in the air any amount and flex your foot strongly. Slowly roll through your foot to a pointed position being mindful to lead with the ball of your foot (similar motion to pressing the gas pedal in a car). 10x each foot
Seated Heel Raises: Sit on a chair or stability ball and make sure your feet are parallel. Lift your heels in the air so that the weight goes pushes down into the big toe side of your foot.
Standing Heel Raises: Stand parallel and lift your heels into the air 10x, making sure your weight travels over the big toe side of your foot. Repeat this action in a slightly turned out position and a slightly pigeon toed position 10x each. Use a wall if needed for balance and work up to doing it without.