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Martin Foot & Ankle

Top 5 Exercises for Ankle Stabilization

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People may not be able to fly on their own, but bouncing on a trampoline can be a close second! Sky Zone Lancaster is a wall-to-wall trampoline playing field where children and adults alike can have fun and get in shape. Enjoy bouncing around, playing dodge ball, or participating in fitness classes designed for a variety of ages and fitness levels. Of course, that much jumping requires strong lower limbs—particularly your ankles. Fortunately, ankle stabilization is something you can improve.

Ligaments and supporting muscles keep your ankles stable so they can handle your body weight and the impact of your footsteps. If they aren’t strong enough to hold you, your joint gives out under pressure, potentially leading to falls and injuries. Ankle exercises condition these structures to handle heavy forces, so your joints are more likely to hold up under stress.

Here are a few exercises to improve your ankle stabilization:

  • Heel raises – Stand on a stair step with your heels off the edge. Slowly rise up on your toes as high as you can, then slowly lower your heels to neutral. Repeat 10 times.
  • Alphabet writing – While sitting, “write” the alphabet with your toes, moving just the foot at the ankle. Make the letters as big as you can while moving just your foot.
  • Heel-toe walking – Walk across a room setting one foot directly in front of the other, like you’re walking on a tightrope line. When you put a foot down, make sure the back of each heel touches the tips of your toes.
  • Figure-eights – Jog a figure-eight in a flat area. Set up cones to help mark your path if needed. Start with a tight eight, and then gradually make it larger. Slowly increase your jogging speed over time as well.
  • Balance and catch – While balancing on one foot, play catch with a partner. Make sure you throw the ball to the sides as well as high and low, so your balance is challenged.

Whether you’re an active person who would love bouncing around to stay in shape, a traditional runner who likes hitting the trail, or someone looking to just start exercising, focusing on your ankle stabilization is important. You need these joints to support you. Let Martin Foot and Ankle in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz and York, PA, help you. Call (717) 757-3537 or use the website request page to make an appointment to manage your ankle strength.

Photo credit: artur84 via freedigitalphotos.net

Dr. Kyle R. Yorgason
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