man lunge exercise

Best Ankle Mobility Exercises for Improving Flexibility

Ankle mobility exercises help in better muscle movement of your feet. If you look at the anatomy of an ankle, you would know that it comprises three main components, including muscles, tendons, and ankle joints. Better ankle mobility refers to the flexible and smooth movement of these three variables in a synchronous manner. Ankle mobility exercises reduce muscle tension and result in a fine range of motion.

They are specifically beneficial for people who do regular exercises, such as athletes or older people who get weak joints. Ankle mobility exercises help revitalize the internal structures, improve blood circulation, and strengthen joint and muscle flexibility.

These are short exercises that cultivate long-term benefits!

man lateral lunge exercise

Benefits of Ankle Mobility Exercises

Powered Daily Routine Movements

When you stand up or walk around, your ankles bear the weight of your body in addition to the force that you apply to move ahead. That is why you need to give your ankles a little bit of credit to support and facilitate your everyday movements. Ankle mobility exercises help in keeping those movements in check. It will provide you with great flexibility that will reduce ankle inflammation as well as tension or tenderness after a long tiring day.

lifting barbell workout ankle support

Injury Prevention

These exercises will prevent you from having accidents or injuries, often caused by excessive workouts or muscle rigidity. 

Better ROM for Athletes

As a sports player or athlete, you all must have realized how important the range of motion is for your performance. If you perform squats or compound exercises, you may need to strengthen your ankles first since they are most likely to get injured. Practising ankle mobility exercises is the best way to target your ankles.

Strengthening Muscles with Aging

With age, your bones, tendons, and muscles progress and start wearing off. They get weak, and that results in brisk and unbalanced ankle movements. Plus, not to mention the pain while walking or running. Sometimes, muscles get sore, and you need an ankle brace to heal them. However, ankle mobility exercises serve as a preventive or prophylactic mechanism that reduces the chance of inflammation or tenderness. They energize and strengthen ankle mobility. 

Top 5 Ankle Mobility Exercises To Strengthening Ankles

Before beginning the exercise, do a little warm-up for about 10 minutes to build the pace and prepare your body for the hassle. Let’s get started! 

Circular Motions for Ankle Mobility

These are the best for relaxing your ankles, especially when you have come from a long day at work, walked a lot, or wore heels all day. Start with rolling a towel and putting it beneath your ankle. Slowly move your ankle in a circular motion. Now, begin with clockwise circles for 2 minutes and then anticlockwise for 2 minutes.

Tip: Relax your legs and move your ankle and foot only. 

Flexion for Ankles

Many physiotherapists also refer to it as plantar flexion. It is an exercise where you flex your ankles towards your body using a string. Start with bending your one leg at your knee level, setting it on the floor. Straighten your other leg and put the string around the ankle. Now, grab both ends of the string in your hands and move your feet back and forth slowly. Repeat the exercise with both feet. 

Tip: In case you can’t find a string, you can do it the other way. Sit on the floor and cross your legs. Now, support the back of the foot with your hand and move it backwards and forwards. Similarly, repeat the exercise for the other leg too. 

Dorsiflexion for Great Ankle Movement

For dorsiflexion, you need a string or a cotton rope. Loop it around a table or chair leg. Sit comfortably with your arms stretched out behind your body on the floor, supporting you. Flex one leg at your knee level and keep the other one straight. Put the straightened leg in that string and move your ankle/foot towards you. 

Tip: The only difference between plantar flexion and dorsiflexion is that the direction of force is opposite. In plantar flexion, pressure is applied towards the body, and in dorsiflexion, the force is applied against your body. 

 Lifting Your Heels for Ankles

Don’t have any equipment near you? Try heel lifts. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Put your hands on your waist to support your movement. Now, elevate your heels slowly off the floor and shift your weight on the balls of your feet. Get down slowly and return to your initial position. 

Tip: Have a chair or table near you for support. Hold the edge of a table or a chair and then repeat the steps. The perk of the heel lift is that you can perform it anywhere, even if you are at your workplace. 

Toe-to-toe or Heel-to-heel Movements

This ankle mobility exercise increases proprioception which helps you to maintain balance and coordination while walking or standing. Walk on your toes in a straight line for about 20 steps. Turn around and repeat. Now, take 20 steps walking on your heels, turn around, and repeat. 

Tip: Focus on your ankle movement and walk slowly. Moreover, you can also do these ankle mobility exercises while working.

Lunges for Ankle Mobility

Lunges help stretching your ankles and improve their flexibility. Start with standing straight on a mat. Put your leading leg on the front and the other one on the back. Both of your toes should face forward. Put your hands on your waist and start bending down slowly to the point where your knee touches the ground. Slowly get up and repeat ten times. 

Tip: Shift between your legs after each cycle, I.e., ten times each leg. 

Takeaway

Ankles bear the most pressure when you stand, walk, or do any other physical activity. This makes them prone to injury or accidents. Ankle mobility is an integral subject to enhance your range of motion. Many ankle mobility exercises can boost your ankle performance, but these five exercises listed here are the easiest. We have considered all the scenarios and come up with the best solution that addresses all your issues with ankle mobility.

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