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Ankle strengthening exercises

Tired of having ankles made of crisps? Anyone who has sprained/twisted or even fractured an ankle knows the frustration of the injury.

Everyone's done it. Sprained, twisted, or rolled your ankle and then the weeks of painful hobbling that follow. The ankle is a complex joint with many strong supporting ligaments and musculature. The most common ankle sprain I see is an 'inversion sprain' when you roll out on your ankle. This involves spraining, partially tearing or rupturing your lateral and anterior ligaments (ATFL and or Lateral Talocrural ligs), which can take a few weeks to recover. If there is significant damage with substantial pain, bruising and swelling then I would recommend offloading the ankle with crutches. However, your first port of call should always be:

R - Rest

I - Ice

C - compression

E - elevation

However, as soon as you're able, here are are few of my favourite beginner ankle rehab and prehab exercises to mobilise and strengthen the hip, knee and ankle whilst working on balance, coordination and proprioception too!

Ankle clock: as you touch the cones, keep the static heel on the floor and flex the ankle (knee over toe)

Heel sliders: great for adding a bit more range and resistance to get the glutes and hammies involved too!

Single leg cone pick up: great for posterior chain activation (think RDL) to get glutes, hammies, and calves working together - great for balance too! push your hips back to stretch and load the hamstrings and then use the tension to hinge the body back upright.

Banded lunge: band the outer knee to fire up the glute med as it prevents your knee from driving in with the band as you lunge #bootyburn

Elevated calf raises: You calf complex is important to rehab as it will support you knees and ankles. Progress to drop your heels off the step to hit more range - stretch and squeeze

Ankle mobility: get the band around your tib and fib to distract posteriorly and then get the knee over the toe to increase dorsiflexion. I also support the heel bone to try limit cheating with pronation.

Dynamic ankle stretch: static stretching is boring and just not as functional. I am an advocate of functional dynamic stretching as it mimics the real use of the muscles targeted.

It is important to know that rehabbing an injured ankle goes far beyond reducing pain swelling and bruising as there is an 80% risk of re-spraining for those who don't undergo a full rehab programme to return to full pain-free function.

There you go.. 10-15 mins of ankle prehab to chuck into a weekly routine to add variety and keep your ankle sexy and flexy 😍 give em a go and let me know what you think


This is great for:

  • Runners

  • People with ankle injuries; twisted or sprained

  • Hip and ankle proprioception

  • Balance work

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