What is Ankle Mobility?
The ankle joint is fundamental to our ability to stand. The health and mobility of the ankle joints determine how easy it is for us to stand as the ankle joint’s health impacts the surrounding tendons and muscles as well. Our motion and simple daily tasks are heavily dependent on our ankle joints.
Why Ankle Mobility is Important:
The mobility of the ankle is essential not only for normal movement but also for sporting activities. Good sportsmen have very strong ankles and spend ample time doing simple exercises that strengthen the ankle. At FitnessWho, we have compiled a list of exercises that will help make your ankle joints stronger and fit for rigorous activity as well as simple, normal activity.
These exercises are designed to make your ankle joint and surrounding ligaments strong and flexible. The strengthening of the ankle and surrounding areas has its effects extended to the knee, thighs, and hips, hence giving you an overall stronger body.
Before going through these exercises, let’s just try to assess how strong your ankles are to begin with.
How to test your ankle’s strength?
These steps will tell you how you examine your ankle’s strength by doing a very easy test. It’s safe and effective. Just follow this guide and find out how flexible your ankle is?
1. Start by standing straight, facing a wall. Extend your foot on the floor at a short distance from the wall.
2. Kneel a little while still facing the wall. Your toes should be a little far from the wall.
3. Start bending the knee towards the front. See how far you can bend the knee without lifting your ankle.
How to assess if the test was passed?
If any of the following occur during the knee kneeling test, it will imply that you failed the test and your ankle and knee muscles are not as strong as they should be. But that is nothing to worry about, not yet. You can still improve the strength of your ankles by doing the exercises mentioned below.
- You felt even the slightest discomfort while bending the knees to the wall.
- You had difficulty in keeping your heels on the ground.
- While bending the knee, it collapsed in an inward direction.
- Once you read the maximum position, you felt pain while maintaining that position.
5 Easiest and Effective Exercises for Ankle Mobility
Making circles with your ankle is a very easy and effective stretch. You can do it while sitting comfortably in your chair. The idea is to make circles in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction for 20 to 30 seconds. After that, try the same in the opposite direction. Repeat the same for the other ankle and try to do 20-30 repetitions at a time to make sure your ankle gets a proper workout.
You will need a resistance band to be able to do this exercise properly. The band is to be anchored on the ankle joint and be placed in a firm position. Then you have to try to straighten the leg as much as possible. Try to stretch yourself in a backward position until you start feeling stress in the band. You can also make use of your hands for body support. Repeat this at least 10 times to get a proper workout.
Toe Raises while standing.
To start, you will have to stand straight and keep your feet apart with the distance of your hip between. Pull your arms out the sides of your hip. Try to put all your weight on your toes and then slowly come back to the original position. This exercise is strenuous on your toes as well as ankle joint. Try to do this at least 10 times, then rest and then two more iterations.
Lunges are a very common and effective exercise for people who are trying to make their ankle joints stronger. It also grants greater mobility to the ankle muscles and joints. This exercise is good for an improved balance of the body as well. Try to do 10 lunges per set and a total of 3 sets in one go.
If you manage the normal lunges properly, the next step is to try walking lunges. These are more rigorous than normal lunges but give greater strength to the joints as well. The stability and balance of the ankle also get more improvement as compared to normal lunges. This exercise can be done while walking forward. You can do the walking lunges one leg at a time.
These are some simple yet effective exercises that will definitely help give strength to the ankle joints, ligaments, tendons and surrounding muscles.