Weak Ankles: Exercises to Strengthen Them

    Weak Ankles: Exercises to Strengthen Them


    The joints and muscles of the ankle are subjected to constant stress: they must, in fact, bear the weight of the body and often also incorrect movements. Over time, therefore, they can wear out easily. This is a problem that should not be underestimated: weak ankles, in fact, can affect balance and stability. Not only that: they also increase the risk of injuries and sprains to the part, which can lead to chronic instability. For this it is useful include specific exercises for weak ankles in your training routine.

    Symptoms of weak ankles

    Strengthening weak ankles with targeted exercises helps improve stability and balance, relieve any pain in the part and prevent injuries and more complex problems. Which?

    The most common symptom of weak ankles is their instability. Other symptoms include:

    • aching ankles and feet;
    • frequent sprains or injuries to the ankle;
    • the ankle often twists outward when walking;
    • balance problems;
    • trouble keeping your ankles straight on your heels.


    Weak ankles can make it difficult to stand on tiptoes. 

    Very effective exercises for weak ankles

    Here are some very effective weak ankle exercises. The ideal is to perform them at least three times a week, even better would be to repeat them every day. However, if you have pain in your ankles or suffer from certain problems in the part it is best to first seek the advice of the doctor.


    Standing calf raises

    Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.
    If possible, stand on the edge of a step with your hands on the railing to maintain balance. Alternatively, you can lean on a table or counter to keep your balance.
    Raise your heels to tiptoe, then lower them.
    Repeat 10 times.

    Draw the alphabet

    Stand upright next to a chair or lie on your back.
    Lift one leg, flex your foot and draw each letter of the alphabet with your toes.
    Repeat with the other foot.

    Flex and stretch

    Sit in a chair and place your right foot on the floor.
    Lean forward and place your right hand against the outside of the foot and push with the palm. Resist the pressure with your foot, holding the position for 10 seconds.
    Then, place your hand inside the foot and repeat the push and resistance.
    Repeat all steps with the left foot.
    Perform 10 times on each foot.

    very walks

    Stand next to a sturdy chair with your feet hip-width apart.
    Lean back on the chair to maintain balance and lift one foot off the floor.
    Remain balanced on one foot for 10-20 seconds.
    Put the foot back on the ground, then repeat with the other foot.

    Resistance push

    Sitting in a chair, lift your foot off the floor and place a resistance band under the ball of your foot, holding the ends of the band with your hands.
    Slowly flex the ankle as far as possible.
    Then slowly bring your foot back to the starting position.
    Repeat 10 times on each foot.

    Ankle circles

    Seated. Place a rolled-up towel or foam roller under the ankle.
    Slowly rotate the ankle in a circle: make 10 circles clockwise and 10 circles counterclockwise. Only move the foot and ankle, not the leg.

    Vary the exercise, tracing the letters of the alphabet with the big toe.

    Single leg balance

    Stand upright, on a flat surface, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Better to get close to a chair or a wall for support in case of need.
    Keeping your arms at your sides, balance on one foot as much as possible. Repeat on the other side. Perform two sets.

    Do the exercise daily and try to increase the number of seconds of holding.

    When you can balance on one foot for 60 seconds, try the following variations:

    • balance with closed eyes;
    • balance with arms at your sides;
    • balance by standing on an unstable surface, such as a pillow, folded towel, or balance disc.

    You can also incorporate this exercise into your daily routine. For example, you can try standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or waiting in line.

    Lunges (static)

    Stand upright with hands on hips and elbows bent.
    Step forward with your right leg, keeping your toes pointing forward and your back straight.
    Bend your back knee down so that it almost touches the floor. The right knee must remain in line with the foot: do not go beyond the toes to avoid injury.
    Then push yourself up again.
    Repeat 10 times on each side and do two sets.

    Double leg hops

    Stand upright, with your back straight and your arms at your sides.
    Jump high, pushing with your toes and raising your arms as you jump.
    When landing, bend your knees slightly, lower your arms and bring your buttocks back.
    Repeat 10 times.

    The factors that increase the risks

    There are some factors that increase weakness in the ankles. The most common are:

    • previous trauma or injuries to the part, such as sprains, dislocations and fractures;
    • chronic instability;
    • anterior tibial tendon dysfunction;
    • osteoarthritis;
    • use of inadequate footwear;
    • incorrect movements;
    • diabetes.

    In these cases, it is even more essential to perform the exercises for weak ankles.

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