Foot & Ankle Exercises

The best way to prevent injury is by having strong, flexible muscles and joints which resist strain and injury. With some simple cases of ankle pain, certain exercises can help relieve some pain episodes. Remember, never do any exercise that causes increased pain.


Ankle Stretch

ankle stretch

Place one end of a Sportcord over your right foot at the instep (not the tip of the shoe). Extend your right leg and pull up the Sportcord until you have the desired resistance and difficulty. Extend your right toe downward, as if you are pressing on the gas pedal in your car. Hold extended for five seconds, and then repeat twenty times. Switch legs and repeat with the left foot.

Ankle Flexion

ankle flexion

Sitting on chair as shown with left leg extended. Flex top of toe backward, and hold for 20 seconds. Relax, and repeat 10 times.

Heel Raises

heel raises

Stand near a wall or chair that you can balance against. Slowly raise your left foot backward until your lower leg is at a 90 degree angle. Hold for 5 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Heel Slides

heel slides
heel slides

Lie on the floor as shown and slide your right heel up towards your buttocks as far as comfortable then slide back down. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Ankle Rotations

ankle rotations
ankle rotations

Raise your foot about 20 inches off the floor. Then with your toe upward, rotate the foot to the left and then back to the right. Hold for 10 seconds then return to starting position. Repeat 20 times for each leg.

NOTE: We recognize that people will diagnose and treat themselves. We have provided this medical information to make you more knowledgeable about nonsurgical aspects of care, the role of exercise in your long-term recovery, and injury prevention. In some cases exercise may be inappropriate. Remember, if you diagnose or treat yourself, you assume the responsibility for your actions. You should never do any exercise that causes increased pain. You should never do any exercise that places body weight on a weakened or injured limb or back.