Need to Strengthen Your Ankles? What you can do to Achieve Ankle Stability.
Keeping your body in shape is nothing new, but how much attention do you pay to your feet and ankles? You want to keep your ankles in shape because they give your body the stability to participate in day-to-day happenings and extra-curricular activities you may enjoy. At his Palm Desert, CA podiatric office, Dr. Harvey Danciger wants your ankles to be in tip top shape. There are many things you can do to protect your ankles and eliminate unwanted sprains, strains or breaks.
How do ankles provide stability?
Think about it, your ankles endure your entire body weight and any pressure you put upon them daily. With every activity you participate in, your ankles need to provide stability. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments supporting the ankle joint work together to move your body. However, if your ankles are not in shape, or you develop a condition, then you run the risk of acquiring pain and other ailments.
The ankle area is made up of three bones – the talus (ankle bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the fibula (small bone of the lower leg). The bottom of your ankle bone sits on the heel bone and is able to move up and down.
What happens if ankles are not strong?
Since your ankles receive a great amount of stress it is important to keep them strong. When your ankles are strong, you can endure greater force while playing sports and are at a lower risk of developing ankle injuries. You can also help prevent chronic conditions in your lower leg muscles, such as shin splints and Achilles tendonitis.
How can you protect your ankles?
Exercise those ankles! Dr. Danciger provides exercises to help balance and strengthen your ankles. Ankle exercises include the following:
- To help with your ankle balance, stand on one leg and hold for 30 seconds. Eventually, you will want to work the exercise up to one minute.
- With a partner, stand on one leg, throw the ball to your partner and catch. You will want to perform three sets of 30.
- Stand on one leg and do half squat with the opposite leg out front. You will want to do this 10 times to the side and behind. Repeat the exercise three times.
- Place a Thera-band around the top of your foot and curl your toes at the end to work the internal muscles of the foot. You will want to perform three sets of 20 in each direction.
- While in a seated or standing position, raise your calf to help strengthen calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. You will want to perform this exercise in three sets of 20.
- Perform scissor hops. You will want to start in a lunge position, jump and switch feet in mid-air. You want to land with the opposite foot forward.
- Try standing squat jumps. You need to start out in a quarter squat position and jump from that position. You will want to land softly.
For more ankle strengthening ideas, call our office to talk to Dr. Danciger. However, if you have foot and ankle pain, set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger. He can help identify the cause of your foot and ankle pain, and work with you to come up with a treatment plan. Call our Palm Desert office at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment.