Your ankles may seem small and insignificant wedged between your calf and your foot, but this body part plays an essential role in keeping us balanced as well as being able to walk, stand, poise on our tiptoes and jump. So it’s vital to keep this body part in shape. There are several exercises you can perform three to five times a week to keep your ankles in tip-top shape. Let’s take a look at the top three exercises for active ankles. And best of all, there’s no equipment required! Just a good looking pair of ankles and a bit of free time.
Tracing the Alphabet
This may seem like an exercise for toddlers, but trust us, it works! Sit in on the floor, with a towel or foam roller under your calf. Once you’re in position, trace the letters of the alphabet one to three times with your toes. This exercise will strengthen your ankles and bring you back to the carefree days of preschool. It’s a win-win! Moreover, if you get tired of the alphabet, circles work just as well.
The Heel-Toe Walks
This move will cover about thirty steps to start. Take the first thirty steps walking on your heels. Then turn around and take the thirty steps back on your toes. This move can be done almost anywhere. Try it in the kitchen as you tackle the dishes or in the bedroom as you fold laundry. You can repeat the cycle three to five times for maximum effectiveness.
Leg Balance Training
Try this move on a flat surface and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. A wall or chair within easy reach is a good idea for extra help. Position your arms out to the sides of your body and try to stand on one foot. It may be difficult at first, but don’t despair! The more you practice, the better you will get. Time the number of seconds you can stay balanced and then switch legs. Once you’ve worked up to about a minute, try it with your eyes closed. This exercise requires one to two reps and can easily be incorporated into your daily life. Try balancing while you’re standing to wait for the coffee maker to finish or while you’re in line at the grocery store.
Most of these exercises can be done anywhere and take little time to do. It’s a good investment in one of your most important body parts. So what are you waiting for? Get those ankles moving!