3 Ankle Balance Exercises
The first exercise to start strengthening your ankle is a balance exercise called the tree.
Hi I'm author, speaker and trainer JJ Flizanes of JJFlizanes.com. And I'm here on behalf of About.com today to talk to you about ankle balancing exercises. The first exercise to start strengthening your ankle is a balance exercise called the tree. You're going to start with your feet hip width apart and transfer your body weight to one leg. Lift the other leg off the floor and rest your foot against your ankle. If this is too easy, lift your leg a little bit higher. Hold this position for 60-90 seconds. This is activating all of the muscles of the ankle, and the calf, and the leg, and the hip.The second exercise is called standing hip flexion. The moving leg creates a challenge for the stability of the ankle. You're going to start with your feet hip width apart and transfer your body weight to one side. Point your toe and lock your knee. Then you're going to concentrate on lifting your leg, while balancing and creating stability on the standing leg. Lift for 2 counts and exhale, only as high as you can go with keeping your spine straight. Lower, but don't rest. Exhale up for 2 and lower down for 2. Make sure your chest is up and your shoulders are back, abs are tight, and you are moving slowly, with control. The third exercise will be a one-leg heel raise. Basically a calf raise on one foot, which is double the intensity. Start by using a chair on your side because I want you to get used to the exercise first and build some strength before you completely challenge your balance with nothing to help you. Start with your feet hip width apart, transfer your body weight to one side, lift your other leg and stick your foot next to your ankle. Use the chair for balance as you start, until you get the motion and build some strength. Lift your heel and transfer your body weight on to your toe, lifting all of your body weight with one leg. Slowly lower your ankle down to the ground, and start again. Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower. As you become more advanced, do it without the chair.When starting to program your ankle balancing exercises, try each one to see the level of difficulty for each of them. Figure out what a good number is that's challenging for you and do one set of each exercise. When it comes to isometric exercises, always start with one or two sets, trying to hold for at least 60 seconds.Thanks for watching. For more information, please visit us online at About.com.