When your ankles and feet are weak and unstable, you are much more susceptible to suffering a foot or ankle injury and possibly a debilitating fall. Falls in the elderly are a major cause of hip and other life-changing fractures. By increasing the strength, flexibility, and stability of your ankles, you can help avoid that fate.

These 3 exercises will improve ankle strength and flexibility to help avoid injuries:

1.    Step exercises for calf and ankle—Stand on the edge of a step while supporting yourself on a wall with one hand.  Lower your heels down and hold for 5 seconds. Then raise your heels up so you are standing on the balls of your feet and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times to stretch your calf muscles and toes and increase ankle strength and flexibility. Do this once a week.

2.    Heel walking—Although this exercise may look ridiculous, walking around on your heels is an easy way to flex and strengthen your feet and ankles. Try walking on your heels for a few minutes then rest for a minute and repeat. Do the exercise three times. Add to your weekly routine.

3.    Arch stretching—Standing on a tennis or golf ball with one foot and rolling your arch back and forth with pressure is an excellent way to improve foot and ankle health. After a few minutes, switch and do the other arch. You can vary the amount of weight on the foot to increase or decrease the pressure.

If you need help treating weak ankles, see your foot doctor for an evaluation. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas) is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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