Keeping your ankles stable and strong to prevent injury

If you want to be steady on your feet, run like the wind, or easily do an impressive vertical jump onto a box, your ankles must be solid and stable. Connecting your legs to your feet, and taking time to achieve healthy ankles, can prevent a myriad of injuries, such as sprains, torn ligaments, broken bones, and shin splints. In addition, your ankles are essential for carrying the weight of your body, allowing you to move pain-free and with ease. 

Causes of weak ankles

If you fail to keep your ankles in tip-top shape, you run the risk of ankles that are weak or tight. Besides injuries from sporting events or everyday use, weak ankles can also be the result of other circumstances, such as the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or lupus
  • Scar tissue buildup, a bone spur or bone fragment blocking the movement of the ankle joint
  • Tendon inflammation from overuse, injury, or disease

Benefits of exercising ankles for strength and stability 

Taking the time to exercise your ankles is well worth the effort. You want to maintain and train your ankles to be strong since the benefits outweigh the cons of not caring for them. 

Potential benefits you can expect from exercising your ankles:


  • Bone density improves. Strengthening your ankles will enhance bone density, reducing your risk of osteoarthritis, a degenerative bone disease.
  • Balance improves. Good balance relies on strong ankle muscles.  When your balance is stable, you will reduce your risk of falls and injuries.
  • Injury prevention. Developing strong muscles surrounding the ankle reduces pressure on the joint, which helps reduce injuries. 


Ankles exercises for strength and stability

Are you ready to help improve your ankle strength, stability, agility, and movement? You can perform exercises at home to help you achieve this goal. Do them daily to see the best results:

  • Calf raise

Calf raises stretch muscles in the ankles and legs. 

Perform this exercise as follows:

  1. Stand on a raised platform like a step
  2. Place the balls of your feet on the platform, allowing your heels to hang over the edge
  3. Push up onto your toes, raising your heels as high as possible
  4. Push down with the ball of your foot, letting your heels hand below the platform
  5. Repeat this move at least 10 times


  • Towel curls

This exercise is great for stretching muscles in the ankles and feet.

Perform this exercise using a towel as follows:

  1. Sit on the floor with both feet flat on floor
  2. Place towel under one foot
  3. Using your toes, grip the towel underneath the foot, lifting it off the ground
  4. Hold the towel with your toes for 5 seconds, then release
  5. Repeat this move with the other foot
  6. Repeat with each foot at least 5 times


  • Towel stretch

This exercise stretches muscles in the ankles and lower legs

Perform this exercise using a towel as follows:

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front
  2. Wrap towel around the bottom of one foot
  3. Gently pull towel towards you pulling the toes back toward your body
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds
  5. Repeat this stretch 3 times on one foot, then switch to the other foot and stretch 3 times also


  • Standing heel raise

This exercise stretches muscles in the legs and ankles

Perform this exercise as follows:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders
  2. Place your hands on your thighs, bending knees slightly
  3. Lift one heel as high as you can keeping your toes planted on the floor
  4. Slowly lower heel back to the floor
  5. Repeat 10 times for each heel



  • Golf ball roll


This exercise stretches muscles in the ankles and feet

Perform this exercise as follows:

  1. Sitting on a straight-back chair, place a golf ball under one foot. You can also use a tennis ball, baseball, or softball.
  2. Roll your foot slowly up and down over the ball for one minute
  3. Repeat this move three times on one foot, then do the same with the other foot


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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