Ankle injuries always happen faster than you thought. Suitable exercises can support the healing process and prevent recurrent injuries. We will show you five effective exercises for your ankle.
Why strong joints are vital
Whether you’ve tripped over a curb in the city or overlooked a root out in the woods: all it takes is one moment of carelessness – and the result is a twisted ankle. Often, your physician will diagnose an ankle sprain, supination trauma, sprained ligament or even a torn ligament. After an injury, the ankle’s stability is often impacted, increasing the risk of a follow-up injury.
If you’re among those with generally soft connective tissue, the ligaments in your foot may lack tension, making them more prone to injury. Obesity is also a risk factor because it increases the strain on the ankles, as is old age – without targeted training, ligaments and muscles become weaker as you get older.
So you can see: training your muscles is important. Following acute injuries, therapeutic exercise helps you get fit again and stabilizes your ankles long term, preventing recurrent sprains. On top of that, regular exercise promotes the production of enough synovial fluid in the joints, which nourishes your cartilage.
How to train your ankles correctly and efficiently
A few simple exercises, best carried out daily, already help strengthen your ankle. If you still feel insecure during exercise, an ankle support such as MalleoTrain can give you additional confidence. You can also wear it during everyday activities for added stability, not just while performing the exercises. We have compiled five easy ankle exercises that will have a great impact on your recovery.
The following applies to all ankle exercises:
If you experience increased pain during the exercise, you should immediately stop exercising. If you’re unsure, discuss whether the exercises are suitable for you with your physician.
Ankle exercise 1
Mobility – rocking
Sit upright on a stool and position your feet on the floor so that your ankles are straight in line with your knees. Now, alternate your balance between the tip of your toes and your heels in a back-and-forth motion. Repeat this movement 15 times.
You can do this exercise with both feet at the same time. If you balance your feet in opposite directions, you also train coordination.
Ankle exercise 2
Mobility – circling your feet
You can do this exercise either sitting or lying down. Lift one or both of your legs slightly, then circle your feet. Change directions after ten circles. Repeat the movement a total of 20 times.
If you do this exercise with both feet at the same time, you can also train coordination by alternating between moving your feet in the same direction versus in opposite directions.
Ankle exercise 3
Strengthening – tiptoeing
Stand with your legs hip-width apart on firm underground. Lift yourself up on your feet in a controlled motion until you reach the front balls of your feet (“tiptoeing”), then slowly lower your heel again. Repeat the exercise 15 times.
For an increased level of difficulty, you can do this exercise with your heel in the air, for example on a step or stair.
Ankle exercise 4
Stability – single leg stand
Particularly for ankle ligament injuries, it is important to train your balance and coordination in addition to your strength. To do so, stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise three times. If this is too difficult, hold on to a chair or piece of furniture at the beginning.
You can increase the coordinative difficulty for your leg by additionally moving the lifted leg or your arms. This makes the exercise even more effective.
Ankle exercise 5
Stability – strengthening your leg axis
For this exercise, you need a TheraBand (elastic rubber band).
Fold the TheraBand in half, stand on one edge and put your foot into the sling on the other edge. Now, press and lift the foot that is in the sling to the side against the resistance (towards the outside). Ensure you keep your posture straight and be careful not to lose your balance. Repeat the exercise 15 times and if you can, do three sets on each foot.
You can also do the same exercise without a TheraBand. In that case, the exercise focuses more on balance rather than strength.
Do you fancy some more action?
Then get the Bauerfeind Treatment App for strong and stable ankles. It offers a personalized training program that has been specifically adapted to your problems and your MalleoTrain. The Treatment App and the Train support are the perfect combination for your rapid, effective and lasting recovery.