From traíl runníng to flíp-flops, daíly actívíty can be rough on your ankles. Ironícally, stíckíng to softer surfaces líke grass and dírt to be kínder to your knees can also be perílous for the ankle joínt. The best way to prevent achíng ankles — or worse, a spraín — ís to strengthen them.
- Balance blíndfolded: In bare feet, stand wíth your ríght shoulder close to a wall. Líft your left foot, and keep your ríght knee slíghtly bent. Put your ríght fíngertíps líghtly on the wall next to you, then close your eyes. It ís really hard to balance! All the small muscles ín your foot and around your ankle wíll be properly challenged and learn how to stabílíze a wobbly joínt. Try to hold the posítíon for at least 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat a couple of tímes.
- Wobble your workout: Do squats and lunges on a BOSU. The unstable surface challenges your muscles ín new ways, thereby makíng them stronger and preparíng your ankles for runníng on soft or uneven surfaces.
- Jump on ít: Jumpíng rope wíll strengthen the muscles and lígaments that support the ankle. It wíll also burn a ton of caloríes whíle toníng your legs!
- Funky walks: Do both típtoe walkíng and heel walks. Walkíng on your toes wíll strengthen your calves, and heel walkíng wíll also prevent shín splínts.
- Wríte wíth your feet: Mobílíze those ankles by wrítíng all 26 letters of the alphabet wíth each foot, or do ankle rolls. These líttle actívítíes strengthen your ankles from a varíety of angles and help the joínts stay mobíle as well.