How to Strengthen Your Ankles

Physical Therapy, Ankle Injuries


Ankle injuries are incredibly common — and often incredibly painful. Fortunately, there’s a way to prevent them: strengthening your ankles! Learn how.

Whether a professional athlete, an amateur, or simply a person walking down the street, ankle injuries are an extremely common fact of life. Working out at the gym, enjoying summer jogs, or playing any type of sport are common ways to injure your ankle. Even taking a walk on a slippery day can lead to a serious ankle injury.

Clearly, spraining, rolling, or fracturing your ankle is easy to do — and a single previous injury increases your chances of hurting yourself again, especially without proper rehabilitation (through physical therapy) and strengthening of your ankle joint.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Ankles

There are many exercises and stretches you can do to strengthen your ankles and help prevent future injury or help recover from a previous ankle injury. A few of the best ones are:

Balance Training

Working on your balance strengthens your ankles, as your ankles are the joints that hold your weight steady on your feet. Try standing on one leg, holding your weight on one foot while grabbing your opposite ankle behind your back. Work toward increasing the amount of time you balance on each foot. Eventually, work up to catching and throwing a ball while standing on one foot, or even doing one-legged squats.

Band Exercises

You’ve probably seen resistance bands at some point, whether at the gym or a physical therapy practice. The good news is you can purchase them for yourself at very little cost! One exercise you can do is to wrap the bands around the top of one foot and curl your toes to stretch your foot and ankle. Make sure to match the number of repetitions on the other foot. These bands can be used to stretch the foot and ankle in a variety of ways and directions — just be sure to consult your physical therapist for proper form and technique before you get started.

Jumps and Skips

Another way to strengthen your ankles is to do exercises that require jumping or skipping. These offer a fun way work the muscles in your foot and your ankle. They get your ankles used to landing and absorbing that impact, as well as aiding your balance.

You can do jumping squats, scissors kicks, or you can even try skips or bounds if you are exercising in a large area.

When to See a Physical Therapist

If you suspect you have injured your ankle in any way, make sure to book an appointment with a physical therapist right away. Physical therapy and rehabilitation is the best way to strengthen your ankles and recover from an injury.

At All Sports Physical Therapy, a premier physical therapy practice located in the heart of New York City, our expert therapists can help you heal and return to your top physical potential in a warm and welcoming environment. Contact us today to get started on your road to recovery!

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