by Mike Giunta, DPT, CSCS >> Request an Appointment
Ankle mobility is an area commonly missed with lower extremity impairments. It can also be the source of other compensations down the line if not trained appropriately. If you have pain in your hips or knees or are unable to get low enough while squatting, these exercises are for you.
Three Way Lunge (3 x 10 reps each direction)
Starting in a runner’s lunge position, hold onto your front foot firmly with the same hand. Press your
knee forward, inside and outside while keeping the heel on the ground. You will feel a stretch either in the front of the ankle or posterior in the achilles/calf musculature.
Goblet Squat (3 x 1 min)
Holding onto a relatively heavy weight, squat deeply with your elbows in between the knees. If you're having trouble keeping your balance, try first with your back against a wall. Sway side to side pushing further into each ankle with each repetition.
Ankle Lift Over (3 x 1 min each side)
Use a lacrosse ball as your guide and place your foot next to the ball with heel directly behind it. While holding the lower part of your leg to prevent any rotation of your tibia/fibula, lift your foot over the
ball. Work to achieve a larger range of motion with each repetition.
Toe Yoga (2 min each side)
Place the whole foot on the ground and hold the lower leg firmly. Spread the toes as far away from one another as possible and lift just the big toe off the ground while keeping the four outside toes pressed into the floor. Hold for a second and then switch to raising the outside four toes while keeping the big toe pressed on the ground. This exercise will help work the intrinsic foot musculature, including the development of arch support.
Ankle Mobility Posterior Glide (3 x 10 reps each side)
Place a power band on a stable surface and loop it around the front of your ankle. This will create a posterior glide of the talocrural joint while pushing the knee forward over the foot. This exercise can also be performed in multiple planes, pushing the knee not only forward but inward and outward, if one direction feels particularly tight.
Try these out and let us know what you think in the comments section!