5 ankle toning exercises to fix a sprain

You might think that athletes are at higher risk of spraining an ankle. But even couch potatoes can end up with ankle pain and swelling. Ankle sprain is not uncommon. In fact, it is among the most common musculoskeletal injuries. According to the National Library of Medicine, the main findings of a meta-analysis of prospective epidemiological studies showed a higher incidence of ankle sprains in women than in men (13.6 vs. 6.94 per 1,000 exposures). It takes its own time to heal, but you may also need to do some exercises to strengthen your ankles.

Health Shots connected with fitness expert Varun Rattan, who says the most common type of ankle sprain occurs when the foot rolls inward and damages the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. There are first aid guides for sprains, but after an injury, you need to focus on rehabilitation and strength. If not done correctly, a severely injured ankle may not heal well. It could result in recurring sprains and more downtime in the future due to loss of your range of motion and stability.

Strengthen your ankle after a sprain. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Exercises to strengthen the ankles

The expert says that for those who have grade 1 or grade 2 ankle sprains, they can start strengthening exercises after two to three weeks. In more severe cases, such as grade 3 where there is a complete rupture of the ligament, it is best to consult a physical therapist before beginning any exercise.

Isometric ankle eversion

• To perform isometric ankle eversion, you can sit down and place a cushion or rolled towel between the outside of your injured foot and a wall.
• Avoid the ankle without any visible movement and push the foot against the wall. This will activate the muscles on the outside of your foot. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat it eight to 10 times for three sets.

2. Isometric ankle inversion

• Sit down and place a cushion or rolled towel between the wall and the inside of your injured foot.
• Invert your ankle without any visible movement and press your foot in toward the wall. This will cause the muscles on the inside of the foot to contract, says Rattan. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat eight to 10 times for three sets.

3. Plantarflexion with a resistance band

• Loop a resistance band around your foot and hold the other end in your hand.
• Keep your leg straight and place a rolled towel or foam roller under your calf muscle.
• Begin by pointing your toes toward your shin.
• Gradually lower your foot and ankle against the resistance band as far as you can. Repeat this movement 10 to 12 times in two to three sets.

4. Standing Calf Raise

• Begin by standing up and holding on to a chair for balance.
• Push up on your toes and hold for two seconds before coming back down. Repeat this movement for 3 series of 8 to 10 repetitions.

ankle strengthening exercise
You can use resistance bands while doing ankle strengthening exercises. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Dorsiflexion with resistance band

• Wrap one end of a resistance band around your foot and secure the other end to a table leg. Make sure your leg is straight and your lower leg is resting on a rolled up towel or foam roller.
• Using only the ankle, pull the toes in toward the shin and hold for two seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Do three sets of around 10-12 repetitions.

It is important to strengthen the ankle, especially after a sprain. But perform these exercises with caution and under the supervision of a professional so that your ankle heals better and prevents further injury.

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