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9 Ankle Stability Exercises Pros Recommend

HPRC’s Taylor Adkins, PT, DPT, spoke with Bustle on the 9 best exercises for ankle stability, read on below!


Ankle stability is the ability to keen your ankle in a neutral position without it rolling in or out as you move, says Dr. Dave Candy, PT. It’s key for walking, especially on uneven surfaces as well as running and jumping. Here, pros share ankle stability exercises you can do.

One Leg Balance
Candy suggests this move to strengthen your ligaments.

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Lightly hold onto a wall tor support
  • Maintain slight arch in the foot you’re
    standing on.
  • Keep your ankle in a neutral position.
  • Hold for 12 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times per side.

Bosu Ball Balance
To up the challenge, Candy recommends standing on a wobbly surface.

  • Step onto a Bosu ball or wobble board.
  • Balance on one leg.
  • If necessary, hold onto a wall for support.
  • Balance for 1 minute per leg, or hold for 12 seconds, 5x.
  • Repeat every day.

Standing Heel Raises
Physical therapist Paige Gibbens, PT, DPT says this move will build ankle strength.

  • Stand with feet under hips.
  • Squeeze quads, glutes.
  • Push into toes, lift heels up high.
  • Slowly lower heels to floor.
  • Repeat 2 sets of 10 reps.

Balance 2.0
Once you build ankle strength, therapist Taylor Adkins, PT, DPT suggests balancing in different ways.

  • Balance on one foot.
  • Lift leg in front of you, hold out to side, lift backward.
  • Hold each position for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 sets of 5 reps.

Ankle Stretches
Adkins also likes these moves.

  • Sit with legs in front of you.
  • Loop a resistance band around one foot, behind toes.
  • Push foot down, like a gas pedal
  • Do 10 reps, 3x.
  • Loop band under bottom of opposite foot, pull back.
  • Do 10 reps, 3x.

Calf Walks
Trainer Mikayla Pock says this move trains the ankle to stabilize in different positions, and also strengthens the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.

  • Stand barefoot.
  • Raise up onto the balls of your feet.
  • Take steps forward on your toes.

Ankle Rolls
Trainer Denise Cervantes suggests this move to stretch and strengthen the tissues around the ankle and foot.

  • Sit on the floor, legs in front of you.
  • Make big circles in each direction with your foot.
  • Do 5 circles in each direction.
  • Repeat 3 sets each.

Penguin Walks
Cervantes also likes this exercise to strengthen the tibialis muscle to give your ankles more support.

  • Stand upright.
  • Lift your toes so that you’re balancing on your heels.
  • Take 10 steps forward with your toes pointed up.

Dumbbell Pass
Dr. Alyssa Kuhn likes this stability exercise to fix muscle imbalances.

  • Hold 3-pound dumbbell.
  • Step one foot in front of the other, like you are on a balance beam
  • Begin passing weight back and forth to each hand.
  • Repeat for 60 seconds, switch foot.


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