Do you have trouble with constantly rolling your ankles? Or maybe you just struggle to stand on your own two feet? Have you ever thought about or put some time into strengthening your foot and ankle to improve balance and coordination, both of which help prevent the mentioned issues? Give these exercises a try and if you stick with it, it’ll make a difference!
A good way to start out any exercise is to foam roll. It helps loosen up tight tissue and gets the joints moving better! Start by rolling the bottom of your foot and then move to the back of the calf. Then make sure you get the sides and front (yes you can roll the sides and front of your calf/shin, there’s muscles there too!), just be a bit more gentle going over the shin.
After rolling out try the following exercises, follow along with the video pausing after each exercise to get your reps in!
1. Stretch the Achilles:
Pulse back and forth for 30 seconds, then hold the stretch for another 60 seconds.
Progress this by elevating just the big toe with a block to stretch the arch as well.
2. Stretch the anterior muscles of the lower leg:
Hold for 60 sec each side.
3. Activate the extensor muscles of the feet and toes:
Start with 10-20 reps extending and spreading all of your toes.
Get that down then do 10-20 reps alternating between the big toe and the other toes.
4. Ankle Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs):
Circle 5 times both clockwise and counterclockwise on each foot.
5. Lateral slides (lateral flexion of the ankle with rotation of the femur):
Repeat 10 reps each direction and then repeat on the other foot.
6. Single leg rocking calf raises:
Repeat 2 sets of 20 reps each side, or until failure.
Give this a try and see how you feel. Remember, if you ever want to see improvement with your body, consistency is key! You can’t just do a couple exercises here and there and expect to see a difference, make it a routine and do these exercises a few times a week and you’ll see much better improvements!