OptimizePMD: Stretches and Exercises for Your Ankles
Ankle injuries. They can happen basically anywhere, anytime, whether you are playing a sport, out for a walk, or hustling down the hall at work. And an ankle sprain can linger around for weeks at a time.
In this video, Midlothian health coach Jaime Monsen talks about 3 stretches and 6 exercises you can do to strengthen your ankle, and avoid those pesky ankle injuries. Watch the video below and read on for a full recap.
3 Stretches to Strengthen Your Ankles
1. Place a towel or band underneath your foot. Use it to slightly pull your toes toward yourself to stretch your calf and hold for 30 seconds. Remember to do both sides, so you don't neglect one over the other.
2. Using a wall, get yourself into a "lunge" position with your hands on the wall. Place one foot further back than the other. While keeping the back leg stretch, lean in toward the wall for 30 seconds.
3. Use a foam roller or muscle stick to roll out your calves, legs, feet, and ankles.
6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Ankles
1. While sitting, extend one leg. Use your big toe as a "pencil" and write out the ABCs in the air. Do as many letters as possible, but your ankle will likely get tired the longer you go.
2. Place a band just below your foot and push forward like you are pushing a gas pedal. 12 reps. This is an exercise you can do multiple times a day because it doesn't require a ton of weight.
3. Place a band around you foot. Pull the band away from your body and point your foot inward. Then reverse, pulling the band inward and pointing your foot outward.
4. Using a chair or wall, stand straight up. Lift yourself onto the balls of your feet and then come back down. Do 12 to 15 reps, two times. Don't do this any more than once every two days or so.
5. Balance on one leg and hold. If balancing on one leg becomes too easy, grab a pillow and stand on it. This creates a little bit of instability and will require you to work a little harder to stay balanced. See how long you can hold your balance for.
6. Jump rope. If jump roping is too difficult, don't use an actual jump rope and just fake it.
OptimizePMD is a new wellness program under development at PartnerMD. By emphasizing various exercise strategies and explaining the science behind them, OptimizePMD will help participants achieve and maintain optimal physical performance at all stages of life. Check out more OptimizePMD content here. More information coming soon!