Stretching and Strengthening Ankle Exercises for Ankle Sprain

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Once the initial pain and swelling have receded after an ankle sprain, stretching and strengthening ankle exercises should be performed to help strengthen your ankle.  Here, we will look at some stretching and strengthening ankle exercises which can be used to help treat and prevent ankle problems, to improve the mobility and movement around the ankle joint.  It is also important to remember to be careful and go gradually.  Every sprain is unique and you should also always follow your health care professional’s advice on this topic.

 

Stretching Ankle Exercises

These first 4 exercises can be done while sitting and at earlier stages of recovery:

  1. Bring your ankle and foot all the way up as much as you can comfortably. Do this slowly, while feeling a stretch in your calf. Hold this for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Bring your ankle down and point your toes down.  Hold this position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Bring your ankle down and in. Hold this inverted position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Bring your ankle up and out. Hold this everted position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.

The next 2 exercises should be done only when the pain in your ankle has significantly subsided:

  1. Stand on the edge of a stair, drop your ankles down and hold this stretched position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Stand 12 inches from a wall with your toes pointing toward the wall. Squat down and hold this position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.

 

Strengthening Ankle Exercises

Pushing exercises

  1. Push your ankle in the “down and in” position against a fixed object such as a couch. Hold this position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Push your ankle in the “up and out” position against the same object. Hold this position for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Push your ankle down against a fixed object and hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Push your ankle up against a fixed object and hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times.

Resistance bands make 2-way exercises possible (pushing then slowly holding your way back to initial relax position).

  1. Use a resistance band around your forefoot, hold the ends of the band with your hand and gently push your ankle down as far as you can and then slowly back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Tie the resistance bands around a fixed object and wrap the ends around your forefoot. Start with your foot pointing down and pull your ankle up as far as you can. Return slowly to the starting position and cycle your ankle 10 times.
  3. Tie the bands around an object to the outer side of your ankle. Start with the foot relaxed and then move your ankle down and in. Return slowly to the relaxed position and repeat 10 times.
  4. Tie the ends of the bands around an object to the inside of your ankle and hold your foot relaxed. Bring your foot up and out and then back to the resting position. Repeat 10 times.

 

Consider these stretching and strengthening exercises when recovering from an ankle sprain. Perform them twice per day.  Once you have regained the motion and strength in your ankle, you are ready for gentle sporting activities such as ogging and biking. After you feel your ankle strength is approximately 80% of your other side, then you can begin cutting or twisting sports. You can also wear an ankle brace before sporting to protect your ankle joint!

5 Responses

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  2. Scott
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