Ankle mobility exercises are very important. Ankle mobility is the ankle joint or talocrural joint’s flexibility and the tendons and muscles surrounding it.
Do you know that poor ankle mobility can be a reason for your inability to perform multiple compound movements?
Limited ankle mobility can even affect the way you walk and many other cardiovascular activities like- rowing.
Poor ankle dorsiflexion may result from tightness in one of the calf muscles or maybe more than one of the calf muscles.
We know that ankle mobility is involved in so many movements and activities we perform. So there are not many excuses left not to consider it important. It is important to think about your ankle mobility.
This means if your ankles are flexible, then you can perform activities with a greater range of motion.
In case your ankles are weak and are not that flexible, then ankle mobility exercises and stretching may help you with ankle flexibility.
If you include stretching and strengthening in your day-to-day life, it will help you a lot in ankle mobility.
This will let you perform certain activities with ease. You’ll be able to walk properly without falling. This will also prevent your hips and knee muscles from getting weak.
Top 13 Best Ankle Mobility Exercises
Here are 13 Ankle Mobility Exercises to make your ankle more flexible.
1. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Heel drops and toe raises on a step
While trying this, remember to use the bottom-most step because you may tumble if you lose your balance. It’s not like raising your toes on flat ground.
Your heels should be hanging off the step, and all your body weight should be on the ball of your feet. Slowly lower your feet after raise up onto your toes. Now your heels must be dropping below the step level.
You can do 2 or 3 sets of 10-11 lifts per day, and you can also add holding weights while you are doing toe raises. You can also do this while bearing weights.
2. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Ankle Dorsiflexion
Sit on the floor, and while sitting, You should stretch out your legs in front of you. Take a stretch band and secure it around a table leg or a chair leg, or any other similar object and wrap it around one of the feet.
Now slowly point your toes up towards you and then take it back to the position from where you started. You have to do 3 sets of 10 flexes on each of your feet three days a week to increase your ankle mobility.
3. Ankle Flexion or Plantar
Sit on the floor. You should bend one leg (that means you should be bent on one knee), the heel should be on the floor. You should relax another leg comfortably on the floor. Hold both ends of the band with your hands and loop the band around the front of your foot.
Now, point your foot forward and then bring it back. Do this three times a week. You should do 3 sets of ten flexes on each foot.
4. Ankle Circles
Sit on the floor. Use a rolled towel or a foam roller (foam rolling) and keep it under one of your legs. Roll your foot and ankle 360 degrees. Do 10 clockwise circles and 10 anti-clockwise circles.
5. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Single Leg Balance
Stand on the floor. Your feet and shoulder should be wide apart. While your hands are stretched apart on sides, stand on one foot. Do this daily, and while doing so, keep in mind that you have to increase the number of seconds you can stand steadily on one leg.
When you can stand steadily for 60 seconds on one leg, then try to balance with eyes closed or on not so plain surfaces like a pillow, folded towel, etc. This is one of the ankle mobility exercises that will be helpful to improve your ankle mobility.
6. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Standing Heel Lifts
Stand on the floor with your legs about shoulder-width apart. Lift both your feet on your toes. It would be best if you were standing on the balls of your feet. To improve the strength of your muscles, remember that control is a very important element.
So, after lifting yourself on the balls of your feet, slowly get your heels down on the floor. You can do 2-3 sets of 10 lifts. This is one of the easiest ankle mobility exercises you could do.
7. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Lunges
Stand on the floor with one foot in front of another and toes facing the front or forward. Remember to keep your back straight. Now bend your back knee down and let it touch the floor. Then get back to the initial position.
Don’t take support from your hands. Repeat this whole process 10 times with 2 sets.
8. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Toe Walks
Walk on your toes for around 30 feet distance. You can do this daily, and the best part is you don’t have to take out some time from your busy schedule for these ankle mobility exercises.
You can walk on your toes while moving from one room to another in your house. Repeat this around 3 to 5 times.
9. Heel Walks
As you did in the toe walk, repeat the same exercise here. The only difference will be this time you will be walking on your heels and not on toes. Walk on your heels for around 30 feet distance.
Like toe walk, you don’t have to take extra time from your busy schedule for this. You can include this in your daily chores. You can walk in the kitchen on your heels. Repeat this around 3 to 5 times.
10. Walking Lunge
It may not be as easy as the static lunge. Both of these ankle mobility exercises look similar but are a bit different. This time you will take a step forward and bend that knee at a 90° angle. At the same time, you will lower the back knee to the ground such that your thigh should look like it is almost parallel to the ground.
This position is called the kneeling position. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Now repeat the same process with the other leg by taking a step forward. Make 10 lunges with each leg.
11. Ankle Jumps
Stand with your body straight and keep your hand on your hips. Now jump straight without bending your knees. Pull up your toes, and don’t forget to flex your ankles while you jump. Extend your ankles back just before you touch the floor again.
Try to keep your feet on the floor for as little time as you can.
12. Plantar Fascia (using lacrosse balls)
The pain in the bottom of the foot is caused due to plantar fasciitis. An irritated plantar fascia causes it. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue running along the sole of your foot. This may trouble you in moving your ankles freely.
Using a lacrosse ball can help you increase your ankle flexibility. This ankle mobility exercise is performed by sitting comfortably with your feet kept on the floor. Now keep the lacrosse ball under the arch of your foot.
Now you will have to lean forward, putting weight on the side where your feet aches. Now slowly start rolling the ball back and forth along the arch of your foot. Keep doing this for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
The ankle mobility exercises using a lacrosse ball will help in myofascial release, which will help break up adhesions and reduce pain.
13. Ankle Mobility Exercises: Non- Weight Bearing Inversion and Eversion-
This is the last but not the least type of ankle mobility exercise. Inversion refers to the motion of pointing your ankle inwards which means pointing your ankle towards the midline of your body. Eversion means the exact opposite of inversion.
In this, you have to lay down on a flat surface or floor with your body straight. Now turn your foot inward by moving your ankle (don’t move your toes; toes should be pointed up) so that the sole is facing your other leg.
You have to continue doing this until you either feel discomfort or your foot can no longer turn inward. Stay in this position for at least 15 seconds and then return to your comfortable initial position.
In version, you have to repeat the same process, but your foot will not turn inward but outward this time.
Our body needs proper attention and care to function properly. All the joints and all the parts of our body are equally important and need equal care for proper functioning, or else they may start giving signs of decaying.
Our ankles can also decay, just like other parts of our body. To keep them in good condition, one needs to take good care of the ankles and give them proper attention and maintenance.
These ankle mobility exercises are important for athletes too. Loss of ankle mobility or ankle flexibility will impact their performance negatively.
These ankle mobility exercises will surely improve your ankle flexibility and strengthen your foot and ankle. Including these ankle mobility exercises in your daily life will take care of your talocrural joint and help you cure plantar fascia.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.