Improve your balance by strengthening your ankles

Great balance has a lot to do with knee and ankle function and posture

Ankle mobility and function is important not just for working out, but also in everyday life.

There are endless sources with tips on stretching, lifting weights and getting the most of your cardio, but what about exercising and stretching your ankles?

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Weak ankles can lead to serious problems and injuries. To strengthen your ankles, you’ll want to focus on the muscles in and around the joint. Here are a few ways to get started:

Standing heel raises

Heel raises, as demonstrated in this video, are best when they’re slow and controlled. You can do these without support, or you can use a wall or chair if you need help with balance.

Single-leg balance

Single-leg balance exercises not only work to improve balance, but also ankle, knee and hip mobility. If you want a little ab workout, tighten your core while doing these.

Trace the alphabet

Tracing the alphabet can be done either sitting or lying down. In this video, Dr. Jo uses a foam roller, but you can substitute a rolled up towel.

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Heel walks

If you’re prone to falling, you might want to do this exercise next to a wall for support.

Resistance bands

Resistance bands are a physical therapist’s best friend. Using a resistance band will allow you to get great mobility while feeling more in control.

Star balance

This star exercise is fun and challenging. If you want to get the most out of it, try doing it without support. If your balance is a little off grab a chair and place it in front of you.