Weakness of the ankle is a very common problem. Its presence is indicated by the tendency to twist the legs when walking on heels, frequent painful sprains, pain in the middle and ring toes, even after light loads. Usually people with such a pathology remove unpleasant sensations with the help of painkillers and ointments, but this does not completely eliminate the problem. Meanwhile, you can strengthen the ankle at home. A specially designed set of exercises is designed for this, which we offer to the attention of readers.
Walking in different parts of the feet
This exercise is known to everyone: it is from it that the warm-up starts at physical education classes in kindergarten and school. Everything is very simple: doing household chores, move around the apartment, alternately stepping on different parts of the feet. For example, go to the kitchen on tiptoe and back to the room on your heels. Then you need to use the inner and outer sides of the feet. Perform the exercise barefoot. If the floor in the apartment is not very warm, you should wear thick socks or knitted slippers, footprints.
Circular foot movements
Sit on a sofa or chair with your legs extended and slightly raised. Rotate the feet, keeping them on the weight, first towards each other (inward), and then in the opposite direction. In order for the muscles and ligaments to get the necessary load, you need to do 15-20 movements in each direction. However, this standard is individual. Experienced trainers advise you to perform the exercise until you feel a slight burning sensation in the joints.
Walking barefoot is not only useful for strengthening the muscles and ligaments of the ankle. On the soles of the feet there are many acupuncture points, the impact on which strengthens the body's defenses, improves the condition of internal organs, reduces swelling and cramps, relieves the feeling of fatigue. In addition, this procedure helps to improve blood circulation in the lower extremities and significantly reduce the risk of developing varicose veins.
To get real benefits from this activity, you need to choose the right surface for barefoot walking. A floor covered with linoleum or tiles made from pressed raw materials based on synthetic resins is hardly suitable for this. It has been established that walking on the following types of coatings has a positive effect on the body:
- grass or straw mats,
- bamboo mats,
- cork plates
- boards made from an array of trees of various species,
- small pebbles
- thick short grass.
It may seem that the owners of cottages have more opportunities to use the right massage surfaces, but this is not so. In any city apartment, you can organize a training corner, equipped with a mat or a shallow tray filled with smooth medium-sized pebbles. Ready-made massage mats with several sections with different surfaces are also very comfortable. When buying such a device, you should give preference to a rug made from natural, environmentally friendly materials.
How do exercises help?
There are many ways you can strengthen your ankles, depending on the level of comfort and what equipment is in use. Exercise does not require much effort and additional funds, they can be performed while sitting, while working, or just watching TV.
It is also possible to strengthen the ankles while standing, adding weight for a more difficult task. Balancing can also strengthen the ankles, while stretching will reduce the risk of injury and improve flexibility.
- Exercise daily for best results.
- If you feel pain, stop exercising immediately.
- Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise.
- Be careful and vigilant when doing exercises with injuries. Slowly rise to your feet and slowly lower yourself so as not to injure yourself even more.
- Strengthen the ankles gradually. As soon as you manage to maintain balance and maintain your weight, you can begin to make a small range of motion of the lower leg and balance on one leg, leaning his back against the wall. Work slowly on the exercises below.
Gymnastics for the ankle
Complex 1. The practice of balancing:
- Stand on one foot. Lift the left leg, bending it at the knee, and stand on the right leg. Hold this position for as long as you can, and then change your leg. To add difficulty, close your eyes. This makes balancing more difficult and makes you interact more carefully with the muscles around the ankles and lower leg to stay upright.
- Squat on a swinging board. Stand on a swinging board - or a pillow, if you do not have a swinging board - put your legs a little closer together than the width of your shoulders. Squat slowly while controlling your squat speed. Then slowly return to a standing position. Perform about 10 squats per set. Repeat up to three sets, depending on the strength of the ankles.
- Bending and reaching. Stand on your right foot and slowly reach the floor, moving your left foot up and down behind you, making sure that you are bent at the hips. You can increase the difficulty of an exercise by placing objects in front and side. When leaning forward, touch each of them before returning to the upright position.
Complex 2. Ankle Stretching:
- Point your toes. Lying on your back, relax your arms and legs evenly stretch. Tilt your toes off your face. You will feel a stretch in your lower leg, but you should stop if you feel severe pain.
- Bend your toes. Lie on your back, relaxing your arms, and stretch your legs evenly. Bend both legs, trying to point your fingers at the face. You can repeat this exercise as many times as possible, but make sure that you are not pulling the legs.
- Stretch the Shin. Place both hands on the wall at shoulder height, and then support the ball with the right foot against the wall. Go to the wall until you feel the leg stretch. Repeat the exercise with the ball for the left leg.
Complex 1. Exercises while sitting:
- Turns. While sitting on a chair, slide the rope or rope under one leg. Pull the rope to the left side with the ankle extended to the left. Press against the strength of the rope and slightly turn the ankle to the right. Then pull the right side the same way. Can be repeated several times for each leg.
- Repeat the range of motion of the alphabet.. Using your thumb as a writing tool and moving your foot from the ankle, repeat the shape of the letters of the alphabet. Cross the right foot over the left and repeat the “spelling” with the right foot.
- Finger presses. Sit on a chair with your back straight. While holding your heels on the floor, touch your toes up and down. You can alternate legs with each press. Strive for a minute of continuous, steady pressure on the ankle, increasing the time and speed of "writing" every time you do an exercise.
- Scrolling. Cross the right leg over the left, laying the right thigh on the left. Slowly rotate the right shin clockwise in large circles. Then rotate the same drumstick again, this time counterclockwise. Repeat for the left lower leg.
- Use resistive range. Thread rubber tape around the table leg or other fixed surface. Pull the other end around your leg. Point your foot down and slowly lift it up. Repeat 10 times. Then try moving your foot from side to side 10 times.
- Ankle Balancing. Sit on a chair with your leg stretched out in front of you. Balance with a bag or towel on your upper leg. Slowly lower your legs. Then also lift the object back.
Complex 2. Standing exercises:
- Try to rise. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift your heels off the ground, and then slowly lower them back. For greater stability and more difficult work, keep your hands free while doing the exercise. Do not use anything too heavy, especially if you are just starting to work on strengthening.
- Squat on toes. Stand straight with your feet to the ground. Get on your toes. Keep doing squats while standing on your toes. When you first start this exercise, use a wall or chair to support it. Later you can do it without a wall.
- Use your body weight. Standing on the edge of a step or a large book, slowly lower the body so that the socks remain on the step and the heels touch the ground. Lift the body back and hold the pose for several seconds before lowering back. The heels may touch the ground depending on the pitch, but be sure to control the lowering of the body and avoid being hit by the heels when lowering.
Toes lifting objects
This is another exercise familiar from childhood that strengthens the ankle. For its implementation, small solid objects (pebbles, glass balls, buttons, etc.) and a low capacity will be required. Sitting on a chair, you need to collect objects from the floor, grabbing them one by one with your toes, and transfer them to a basin or box.
Exercise can be performed while standing on one leg (legs should be changed periodically). In this case, it will serve not only to improve the condition of the ankle, but also to train the vestibular apparatus and coordinate movements.
Rubber Band Exercise
A pharmaceutical rubber bandage is one of the most successful devices for strengthening workouts. With it, you can do exercises that positively affect the muscles and ligaments of the ankle:
- sitting on a chair, place your feet close to each other and tie them with a bandage, securing the knot from above. Now place your heels on the floor, and lift the toes of your feet. In this position, try to open your socks several times, stretching the bandage,
- fasten the bandage in the same way as in the previous exercise. Cross your feet, place your heels on the floor and again stretch the bandage several times, trying to push the socks away from each other as far as possible,
- fasten the bandage assembly to the support (for example, on the cabinet leg). Pass the toe of the foot into the loop (the heel should be on the floor) and pull it several times over yourself, overcoming the resistance of the bandage. Movements can be performed with each foot separately or both together.
An excellent exercise for the ankle is jumping rope. Experts recommend jumping without bending the knees: in this case, the ankle joint gets the right load.
Weakening of the muscles and ligaments of the ankle is fraught with frequent injuries of the lower legs. If such a nuisance has occurred, it is necessary to choose the right shoes for leaving the house. For a normal walk or work, hard boots that are well-maintained are suitable. Orthopedic insoles are very useful in this case. For outdoor activities, it is worth putting on high sneakers that hold the joint in a fixed position. Of course, in case of an ankle injury, you should consult a doctor and discuss not only treatment issues with him, but also the choice of strengthening exercises.
The main functions of the ankle include:
- Ensuring the vertical position of the body. Thanks to the strong ankle we can stand.
- The ability to walk and run. This is also his merit.
People involved in sports or fitness often forget about the importance of properly developed ligaments and leg muscles. On our feet we spend a lot of time, do numerous exercises. Well-developed and strengthened muscles will not only save you from injuries, but also qualitatively improve the result from training. How to strengthen the ligaments of the ankle, we learn further.
Why is it necessary to strengthen the ankle?
Who needs to think about strengthening the ankle:
- It is a mistake to think that strong runners need only professional runners. With weak ligaments, you can easily tuck your leg on absolutely any surface, even the most even one.
- If you often tuck your leg, it is worth thinking about strengthening the ankle joint. His weakness can cause a fall and injury.
- Athletes who devote enough time to leg training can safely run over rough terrain.
- Strengthening the ankle ligaments is also needed on the treadmill. Due to the high speed, the possibility of injury is very high.
- Fans of sipping iron should also first of all think about their joints and ligaments. Are they ready for new loads?
- Girls who love high heels are at risk for ankle injuries. Therefore, before putting on shoes with heels, it is worth stretching the muscles a little. This should be done after removing the heels.
Such injuries occur quite often both in athletes and in ordinary people. After all, the ankle has a heavy load when walking, running and even yoga. How to strengthen the ankle ligaments after an injury?
Immediately after the injury, ice or something cold should be applied to the injured leg for 10-30 minutes. Ice should be used carefully, wrapping it in something, for example, in a towel. By applying it to open skin, you can get frostbite.
The next few days, the damaged ligament should be allowed to rest. It is better to fix the leg and immobilize for 2-3 days. This will not aggravate the effects of injury. The first days are best spent at home, lying in bed or sitting on the couch.
To speed up healing, keep your leg elevated. Lying in bed, you can put a pillow or a folded blanket under your foot, the main condition is that your ankle is above the heart. In a sitting position, the feet should be above the hips.
Exercise after ankle sprain
Many people mistakenly think that after an ankle injury, he does not need to be loaded at all. After 3 days, you can start training. All exercises for the ankle should be performed slowly, without sudden movements:
- Take a towel, stand on the edge. And slowly, with your toes, rake it under you, and then return it to its original position in the same way, using only your toes.
- Catch your toes on the leg of a table or chair, and pull it toward you.
- Climb on socks. One of the easiest exercises, but it is very effective. Lift your heels as far as possible, you should feel the tension in the calves. Stand with your heels up for a few seconds, then lower your whole foot. Repeat at least 30 times.
- Rise on the heels. This exercise is a bit more complicated than the previous one, as you have to maintain balance. If you have problems with this exercise, you can perform the exercise on one leg, the second is completely on the floor.
- Walking. At the first stages, you need to walk on smooth surfaces without rushing.
Next, a set of exercises for training the ankle will be provided.
Exercises for the ankle can be done without distracting from your usual household chores, or used as a warm-up before training:
- Sitting at a computer or at a book, raise your legs off the floor and make circular motions with your feet clockwise and counterclockwise. You can do the exercise until the muscles are slightly tired. The movement in a circle can be replaced by drawing an alphabet in the air.
- While walking around the house, try to shift the weight alternately to different parts of the foot. First climb toes, walk on toes, then on heels, on the inside of the foot and the outside.
- Lift small objects by grabbing them with the toes of one leg. This can be done while standing on one leg or sitting.
- Walk barefoot on grass, sand or pebbles. Thus, you not only strengthen the ankle, but also massage your feet well.
Exercises to strengthen the ankle on the floor
Sit on the floor. Pull one leg forward, the other leg bent at the knee, pull it toward you. Helping yourself with your hands, rotate the ankle joint in a circle to one and the other side. Keep your back straight, do not lose your extended leg. Then change legs. Due to the developmental features of our body, the amplitude of rotation of one limb may be slightly larger.
Sit on the floor. Legs should be straight. Stretch your feet forward and backward. It is important to remember that feet work, not fingers. When stretching your feet forward, do not bend your fingers, but, on the contrary, try to get an invisible wall. When stretching the feet back to themselves, the toes should be on the same line.
Get on your knees. The feet and knees should be together. Lift your feet on your toes, sit on your heels with your buttocks. Try to distribute the weight evenly. Sit in this position for a minute or two. This exercise can be complicated by stretching one leg forward. You will have to sit on one leg.
Standing Ankle Ligament Exercises
Take a book or step platform. Stand on the edge of the platform on toes. Lift the heels up and slowly lower them to the floor. Это достаточно тяжелое упражнение, не требующее большого количества повторов.
Встаньте на одну ногу. Вторую поднимите, согнув в колене. Стойте на одной ноге столько, сколько позволяют возможности. Затем поменяйте ноги. During the change of limbs, you can twitch them a little to relax them. At first you can hold on to the wall, so doing the exercise will be easier. To complicate this exercise, close your eyes. This will concentrate more on the ankle.
Take a pillow or a blanket bent several times. Stand on the pillow, legs should be slightly narrower than shoulder width. Squat from this position, but do it as slowly as possible, controlling every movement. Do not forget about the back, it should be straight.
Skipping rope exercises
One of the most effective exercises for developing ankle ligaments is rope exercises. Jumping rope reinforces the ankle. For greater efficiency, do not bend your knees while jumping, then the load will completely transfer to the lower part of the legs.
You should always do in special shoes. The rope should be selected for height. Too long can get confused, and it also knocks out clarity with a blow. To deal with too short will be very inconvenient, you need to make efforts not to hurt her. There are several ways to determine the desired length:
- Stand in the middle of the rope, the ends without the handles of the correct rope should reach the waist, and with the arms - to the armpits.
- Bend the rope in half, take both ends in one hand. Pull your hand forward, at chest level. If the rope reaches the floor, then it suits you.
Rope exercises have a number of contraindications. You can not deal with people who are overweight, with problems of the cardiovascular system, spine, people with varicose veins, with knee injuries, hypertension.
For warming up the ankle, you can use balls; for this, balls of different sizes are suitable:
- Large ones can be rolled on the floor with your feet or raised balls with both feet.
- Small ones can be moved from place to place with your toes.
With balls you can play football, kick, score goals. This will strengthen the muscles of the legs and ligaments of the ankle very well.
Next, you can see the set of exercises for the ankle ligaments in the video, as well as how to strengthen the ligaments of the feet.
On the question of how to strengthen the ligaments of the ankle, few people think about nutrition. It must be balanced, without harmful products.
You must first adjust your weight. Lichen kilograms add stress to the ankle joints. Add foods containing calcium, such as milk, cheese, broccoli, yogurt, hazelnuts, salmon, apricots, etc. to your food.
Increase your intake of foods containing Vitamin C. This vitamin is very useful for ligaments and tendons, it helps restore them in injuries. In addition to citrus fruits, you can eat kiwi, strawberries, bell pepper, spinach, cabbage.
You can use dietary supplements to replenish vitamins and minerals that the body does not receive with food.
What you need to know for exercise effectiveness
To increase the effectiveness of exercises you need to know the basic rules and principles:
- It is necessary to do at least 4-5 times a week, it is better to do exercises to strengthen the ankle ligaments every day. It does not take much time.
- Do general stretching exercises several times a week.
- If you started exercising after an injury, it is best to consult with your doctor what exercises you can do and which ones should be discarded.
- If during the exercise you felt severe or sharp pain, then you need to stop the session.
- Do not rush things, there is no need to immediately switch to complex exercises. Everything should go gradually.