4 Excellent Ways to Strengthen Your Ankles and Avoid Injury

by | Jan 27, 2010 | Exercise and Fitness, Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Pilates, Pilates Exercises, Techniques & Teaching Tips | 1 comment

Are you interested in staying healthy and injury-free?  Foot and Ankle strength, flexibility, and alignment is critical! Our ankles assist with balance,  help us run faster, and jump higher.  One missed step off a curb, or quick turn on the basketball court, soccer field, or during any other sports activity and if your ankle turns… you’ve got pain, swelling, and are sidelined from the activities that you love to do!

You don’t have to be plagued by chronic ankle pain and problems. There are lots of great ankle strengthening exercises that can help you get fit, and enjoy all the sports and fitness activities you enjoy participating in.

Here are 4 of my favorite ways to help be sure your ankles are in top training condition!


Pilates Reformer Exercises

Toes, Arches, Heels, Lift & Lower…The first four footwork exercises on the Reformer are excellent for strengthening the feet and ankles. Add in the five exercises in the Stomach Massage series, (Round, Hands Back, Reach, Twist, and Stretch) and running and you’ve done ten great ankle strengthening as well as some great whole-body, core conditioning in your Pilates Reformer workout program.


Standing Footwork Exercises

The standing footwork exercises are a wonderful way to work your ankles and improve your balance all at the same time!

  • Rise on your tippy-toes and then lower your heels 8-10 times.
  • Bend your knees, lift your heels, straighten your knees (staying high on your toes) then lower the heels 8-10 times.
  • Reverse this action of rolling through the feet (Rise on your toes, bend your knees staying on the toes, lower the heels, straighten the legs) 8-10 times.

To add variety to your Standing Footwork exercise program, these exercises can be done in a V-Position, Parallel, or One Leg at a time.

Bonus Tip: Watch your legs and feet in a mirror to be sure that your alignment stays great – Knees over ankles, ankles over toes…no wobbles.


Theraband Ankle Exercises

Using a theraband is a great way to strengthen the foot and ankle with a little more resistance, but not have to work against your entire body weight.  Line the band up lengthwise along the sole of your foot, and hang onto the ends with your hands. Practice pointing and flexing the foot, as well as doing ankle circles against the resistance of a theraband. Strive to work through a full range of motion in all directions for maximum benefits.


Centerworks® Super-Ankle Board

Turning an ankle is one of the most common sports injuries, and the Centerworks® Super Ankle Board is one of the easiest ways to stretch and strengthen the medial and lateral sides of the ankle joint and reduce your risk of injury. The strength and body awareness you’ll gain with the Centerworks® Super-Ankle Board is what’s required to pull your ankle back to a centered position if it starts to roll out! Standard wobble boards do not work this range of motion or provide the reference points needed to ensure that you’re using the right parts of the foot and ankle for correct lateral/medial action. Use this Super-Ankle Board regularly and chances are slim that you’ll never blow out another ankle again!

For Pilates Reformer workouts, find a studio near you. Everything else you can practice on your own at home or add to your current workout!  It doesn’t take a lot of time to improve ankle strength, just a few minutes focused on your feet a couple of workouts a week, and you’re on your way to staying healthy, fit, and injury-free!

You can find all of these great foot and ankle care products at Centerworks.com.  Get a copy of the book Fantastic Feet with the Standing Footwork and Theraband  exercises.  Buy Therabands from super-easy to advanced strengths, and get a Super-Ankle Board all online in the Foot Care Products section at the Centerworks store.

Aliesa George: Over the past three decades, Aliesa George has helped assist people with their personal health journeys by sharing, teaching, and developing Pilates, Foot Fitness, and other Mind-Body programs.

1 Comment

  1. John P

    Good ways to strengthen the ankes and joints. This can help on being able to jump higher as well, but mistakes can happen and having a sprained ankle is no laughing matter. this is a good read for protecting the ankles.



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