Don’t Neglect your Ankle Strength

Our knees justifiably get a lot of attention as joints critical to our everyday functioning as well as for our ability to stay fit. Our ankles, on the other hand, tend to get overlooked but are just as important for supporting us and our ability to run, walk, lift weights and just move about in comfort.

Everybody, especially those who have experienced ankle injuries or weakness, needs to pay attention to their ankles’ condition and stability, reinforcing strength and agility during warmups and while training.

Our neuromuscular system, which perceives and responds to our positioning in space, is also necessary for us to successfully maneuver through our environment.

Try these moves to charge up your ankle power.

Heel Walk

1. Stand tall with your feet together and hands on your hips.

2. Flex your feet so that your toes come off the floor. Walk forward on just your heels.

3. Take 8 to 12 steps.

Toe Walk

1. Stand tall with your feet together and hands on your hips.

2. Rise up onto your toes and start walking forward.

3. Take 8 to 12 steps.

Supine Ankle Circles

1. Lie on your back. Cross your right foot over your left quad, and bend your left knee.

2. Hold the back of your left leg and gently pull it toward your chest so that your quad is perpendicular to the floor and your calf is parallel.

3. Roll your right ankle in circles in one direction for 8 to 10 reps, and then repeat rolling it in the other direction.

4. Switch legs and repeat on the other ankle.

Heel Cord Stretch

1. Stand facing a wall with your left leg forward with a slight bend at the knee. Your right leg is straight and behind you, with the heel flat and the toes pointed in slightly.

2. Keep both heels flat on the floor and press your hips forward toward the wall without arching your back.

3. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Do 10 reps, then switch legs and do 10 more.