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Looking for ankle strengthening tips..

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've always had problems with weak ankles. I've managed to sprain an ankle walking off of a curb, even inside a ski boot!
Does anyone have suggestions on how to strengthen ankles?, is a balance pad a good start?
I look forward to any help..
post #2 of 20
Stand between two chairbacks or in the corner of an L-shaped kitchen counter so you have something to help support yourself and stand on flat feet skeletal hip width apart. Slowly roll both feet onto their right edges. Roll back to the flats, slowly roll onto the left edges. Repeat until fatigued. Do this several times a week and you'll find fatigue sets in later and later.
post #3 of 20
barefoot running (or perhaps even running in the nike free) is a wonderful way to strengthen not only the ankle and its associated ligaments but also the entire lower leg. if you haven't done it before start very slowly and work your way up.
post #4 of 20
if you are doing work where you just stand at a station or maybe in the kitchen while preping food, get a very soft foam pad to stand on. The small movements you need to stay balanced will also strengthen your ankles.

Running on the beach (or in sand).

Toes on a curb then press to feet flat and then relax back to stretch the hams. Strengthens and stretches.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
Stand between two chairbacks or in the corner of an L-shaped kitchen counter so you have something to help support yourself and stand on flat feet skeletal hip width apart. Slowly roll both feet onto their right edges. Roll back to the flats, slowly roll onto the left edges. Repeat until fatigued. Do this several times a week and you'll find fatigue sets in later and later.
This is a great one. I'll add something. If you are an office worker, while at your desk (especially if you have a swivel chair) you can do this same exercise while on the phone or on the computer. Just set the height of your chair so your feet are flat on the ground when relaxed. and do the same exercise. The workout is not quite as intense but it will help.
post #6 of 20
I'd be leery of any kind of running on uneven surfaces if you're subject to easily sprained ankles. The beach might be OK, but I really don't like running as an exercise. I have a ski buddy who was an avid runner for many years. Loved to "hit the wall" and enjoy the subsequent "high" as he kept going. He'd run on tracks, sidewalks, country roads, etc. When he was in his early 50s, he needed some foot surgery unrelated to the running and the orthopod sent him in for a couple X-rays of the foot. The next day they called him and asked him to return for additional X-rays. This time they took views of both feet, his ankles, his knees and his hips. He was fearful they'd found evidence of a cancer of something, so he went back to the orthopod and asked what was going on. The response was he had the joint wear of an 80-year-old man and they wanted to document it. So for the last 20 years, he's been running only on one of those small trampoline devices. Says all he gets out of it is the exercise. No runner's pleasure.
post #7 of 20
You could try buying (and then using ) a wobble board.

I got one myself a few weeks ago and it isn't an easy thing to use.
post #8 of 20
Buy two 18" x 4" pieces of schedule 40 PVC pipe. Using your ski poles for balance place the ball of your feet on one side and the heel on the other. Then rool your feet back anf forth. Try to keep the movement coming from the ankle. do them with the toes pointing out and then toes pointing in, wiht heel on opposite side of the pipe. Rool the pipe only enough to allow the feet to stay in contact wiht the pipe. After this, place the feet straight on top and raise your heels for as long as you can.

Be carefull! Start on thin carpet or a yoga matt at first. this is a great workout for foot and ankle muscles, along with balance and stability.

Try doing the foot tipping and ankle flexion and extention sitting on an exercise ball. Again, focus on the movements originating in the feet and ankles. This will also help improve stability as you improve foot and ankle strength and mobility. Later, RicB.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc gledhill
You could try buying (and then using ) a wobble board.

I got one myself a few weeks ago and it isn't an easy thing to use.
They are pretty easy to make. Search the threads for balance, wobble, or indo. I made one for only a few bucks in materials.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for some great tips. Just what I was hoping for.
JJ
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
I'd be leery of any kind of running on uneven surfaces if you're subject to easily sprained ankles. The beach might be OK, but I really don't like running as an exercise. I have a ski buddy who was an avid runner for many years. Loved to "hit the wall" and enjoy the subsequent "high" as he kept going. He'd run on tracks, sidewalks, country roads, etc. When he was in his early 50s, he needed some foot surgery unrelated to the running and the orthopod sent him in for a couple X-rays of the foot. The next day they called him and asked him to return for additional X-rays. This time they took views of both feet, his ankles, his knees and his hips. He was fearful they'd found evidence of a cancer of something, so he went back to the orthopod and asked what was going on. The response was he had the joint wear of an 80-year-old man and they wanted to document it. So for the last 20 years, he's been running only on one of those small trampoline devices. Says all he gets out of it is the exercise. No runner's pleasure.
For every one of these stories there are dozens more of runners finishing marathons well into their 60s, 70s, and even 80s.

Running often gets a bad rap - but as long as it's done wisely it is a sport that can not only keep you in great shape but one that you can easily enjoy into your later senior years.
post #12 of 20
Its the wrong time of year for this but next summer spend some time walking and or running barefoot at the beach in the soft sand. This can be a wonderful way to strengthen your ankles. Vary the soft sand a bit with the harder packed sand by the water's edge and foray into the water occasionally for a rest.
post #13 of 20
Ankle sprains can also be responsible for loss of proprioception. Here's an interesting proprioception exercise: Stand on a piece of paper. Close your eyes and march in place for one minute. Open your eyes. Are you still on the paper?

For ankle strength, I'd strongly suggest a dyna disc. They are economical and versatile. You can also purchase therabands, and practice inversion, eversion plantar and dorsi flexion exercises.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie

For ankle strength, I'd strongly suggest a dyna disc. They are economical and versatile.
These are great.I am fortunate in that my gym has all kind of things like this (for balance).
You could also try standing one legged on a Bosu Ball,do some one legged dead lifts . Or just stand on it in an athletic stance and close your eyes. Not as easy as it sounds.
post #15 of 20
If you want to keep thing simple - close your eyes and balance on one foot. Works all the smaller muscles and tendons quite well.
post #16 of 20
LM:

Skipping rope: good bad or indifferent?
post #17 of 20
Excellent!
post #18 of 20

Hi JJ!

Hi JJ!

The Wobble Board and Indo Board/Balance boards work incredibly well at strenghthening weak ankles. I used one a couple of years ago after having my ankle totally reconstructed. I was completely off of my feet for over 4 months and my leg muscles had completly atrophied. When I first started using the Wobble Board, my legs would shake like crazy after only a minute or two of use, however, after a couple of weeks I could feel a huge improvement. If you have the use of a lap pool, I would also highly recommend doing laps with flippers on your feet and using a kickboard. This also yielded great results. As far as running goes, I would skip it and go to using an eliptical machine. I still get that runners high after using one and there's no impact on your knees and ankles. A bonus to the eliptical machine over the treadmill is that it also burns more calories.

Best wishes on your recovery and if you need the name of an awsome foot doc, I can highly recommend mine. (Dr. Arthur P. Manoli, II, St. Joe's Hospital, Pontiac, Michigan.

-Anne-
post #19 of 20

Don't misconstrue the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsoundoc
I've always had problems with weak ankles. I've managed to sprain an ankle walking off of a curb, even inside a ski boot!
Does anyone have suggestions on how to strengthen ankles?, is a balance pad a good start?
I look forward to any help..
Right now I'm suffering through an injury to my Calf and ankle. I re-aggravated an old ankle sprain. Let me correct your thinking on some things. It is not surprising that you sprained your ankle in a ski boot. My original sprain was due to my skiing bumps with a rear entry boot. Lately, I re-aggravated this injury by using leather lace boots and skiing lift-service tele. I only had aggravated it slightly, but since I was also skating and DH skiing, it was a preparation for disaster. It's imperitive to have a very sturdy boot and tight fit. There are many yoga exercises for your ankles which I recommend. I use them. I am also considering taping my ankles again. After the original injury, I taped them with a lot of success. Two years ago I also aggravated my ankle WSing, dis-mounting the board in shallow water. I started wearing neoprene ankle braces which I bought in a Hockey shop. Taping didn't work in the water. Often you can twist your ankle while walking on city streets especially those with curbs. It isn't so unique to you. Just walk it out. Again, what kind of shoe were you wearing? Various other stretches and exercises can help. Try standing on your toes often during the day. Prabably, if I every go back to lift service tele with leather boots, I'll tape my ankles. I'm also considering having a cobbler stitch a belt into my leather boots. My dad had a pair of leather ski boots with a strap-and-buckle. One other thing, try swimming for exercise. I hate pools, but I am now thinking about it.
post #20 of 20
Often so-called weak ankles are a product of a skeletal misalignment. You might check with a podiatrist about orthodics to get your lower body aligned...big help for me.


Ken
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