Physiotherapy Exercises For Strengthening The Ankle

Physiotherapy exercises are an important part of strengthening the ankle. They can help to reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve overall functioning in the joint. These targeted exercises can be used for both rehabilitative purposes when recovering from an ankle injury or as a preventative measure to avoid future injuries.

Kim Le

May 30, 2023

Physiotherapy Exercises For Strengthening The Ankle

Physiotherapy exercises are an important part of strengthening the ankle. They can help to reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve overall functioning in the joint. These targeted exercises can be used for both rehabilitative purposes when recovering from an ankle injury or as a preventative measure to avoid future injuries.

In this article, we'll cover various types of physiotherapy exercises that you can use to strengthen your ankles at home. We will discuss how these specific exercises work and why they're beneficial, along with providing step-by-step instructions so that anyone can start increasing their ankle strength today!

With consistent practice and dedication, these simple yet effective physio exercises can make a world of difference in improving your overall ankle health.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are an important type of exercise that can help strengthen the ankle and surrounding muscles.

Alternating calf raises are a great starting point for anyone looking to improve their ankle strength and stability. This exercise requires you to stand on one foot while raising your toes off the floor and extending them as far as comfortably possible, then lowering them back down again before repeating with the other foot. The alternating motion helps work both sides of the calves evenly for optimal results.

Alongside this movement, calf stretching is also important in order to maintain flexibility around the ankle joint. To do this, simply find a wall or chair to lean against and place one foot behind the other so that only your toes are touching the ground. Then press your hips forward until you feel a slight pull in your calf muscle without feeling any pain or discomfort. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching feet and repeating with the other side.

Overall, these two exercises should form part of a regular routine if you want to see improvements in your ankle strength over time. They’re easy enough for beginners but can be modified depending on your skill level or specific needs.

With practice and consistency, you’ll start noticing greater mobility and less risk of injury from everyday activities like walking or running soon enough!

Heel Walks

Now that the calf raises have been completed, it is time to move on to heel walks. Heel walks are an important part of strengthening the ankle as they provide a different type of stress than just standing in place and raising up onto your toes.

The following are some tips for properly executing heel walks:

  • Begin with both feet flat on the ground

  • Step forward slowly, putting all weight onto the leading foot's heel first

  • When stepping back, make sure you step back with the same foot that stepped forward originally

  • Walk across a room, alternating between one foot and then the other

  • Make sure heels do not touch the floor until returning to starting position

It is also beneficial to add heel stretches into this exercise. These can be done while walking or after completing a set amount of steps.

To do these stretches, stand behind a chair or countertop for balance and lift one leg off the ground without bending at knee. Keep your toes pulled towards you and hold for 15 seconds before releasing.

By doing this stretch regularly during heel walks, you will help further strengthen your ankles and feet muscles over time. Additionally, if possible try incorporating various objects such as rubber bands or resistance bands around your ankle joint while performing exercises to increase difficulty levels even more.

This is especially helpful when recovering from certain injuries like sprains as it helps build strength quickly once again in those affected areas. In summary, by frequently practicing heel walks along with stretching techniques mentioned above you can significantly improve strength throughout your ankles and feet muscle groups.


I'm sure everyone knows what a squat looks like, but it's important to emphasize good form when performing the exercise.

It's a great way to strengthen the muscles in the lower body, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Plus, it's a great way to stabilize and strengthen the ankles, as well.

Let's talk about proper form and the muscles worked when performing squats.


Squats are a great exercise for strengthening the ankle, but it's important to ensure that you're using proper form.

To do this, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and shoulder width apart with your chest held up in correct posture.

You should be pushing through your heels as you lower yourself down into the squat position, keeping your back straight throughout the movement.

Don't forget to keep your core tight and engage those glutes!

With practice, squats will become second nature and help you achieve strong ankles in no time.

Muscles Worked

Squats are a great exercise for strengthening the ankle, as well as working multiple muscles throughout your body.

When done correctly, you can target and stretch many major muscle groups including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and even core muscles.

By focusing on proper body mechanics such as keeping your back straight and pushing through your heels during squats, you will be able to maximize each rep and ensure that you're getting the most out of this dynamic workout.

Incorporating stretching techniques before and after will also help increase flexibility which is key for preventing injury and improving performance.

With practice and dedication, squats can help create strong muscular balance in no time!

Toe Raises

Imagining the perfect arch of your feet as you stand tall, take a deep breath and begin. Toe raises are an essential part of strengthening one's ankle, improving balance and agility. Whether it’s due to workplace injuries or sports-related ones, these exercises can help strengthen muscles around the ankles while helping heal sprains, strains and fractures.

The following table outlines three toe raise variations that range in difficulty:

| Variation | Description | Level |


| Single Leg Toe Raise | Standing on one leg with toes pointed upwards towards the ceiling for 10 seconds each side. Repeat 3 sets of 10 times per side.| Beginner|

| Double Leg Heel Raises| With both legs bent slightly at the knees, lift up onto your toes then slowly lower down again for 10 - 15 repetitions. Aim for 2 – 3 sets total.| Intermediate|

| Single Leg Calf Raises| Stand on one foot with the other lifted off the floor behind you, keeping your core engaged throughout. Slowly rise onto your tiptoes before lowering back down in a controlled manner for 8 -10 reps for each set (2-3 sets). Finish by switching legs and repeating this sequence over again.||Advanced|

To execute these toe raise variations correctly, ensure that your body is stable at all times and avoid any jerky movements when standing up or sitting down until you have mastered them properly. Moreover, be sure to stretch afterwards if feeling tightness/tension in either calf muscle as soreness may occur if not done adequately enough. As always remember to listen to your body carefully so as not to cause further injury!

Toe Walks

Now that you have completed toe raises, let's move on to the next exercise: toe walks. Toe walking is a great way to build strength and flexibility in your ankles. It involves taking small steps with just your toes while keeping your heels off of the ground. This stretching drill helps improve coordination and balance between your feet, as well as strengthen muscles around the ankle joint.

To perform this exercise correctly, stand tall with both feet flat on the floor. Lift up onto your toes so only they are touching the ground - make sure not to raise up too high on your toes or it could cause strain on other parts of your body.

Begin by slowly lifting one foot off of the ground, followed by the other and take ten small steps forward with each foot separately. Once finished, take a break for 10-15 seconds before repeating the process two more times.

For an added challenge after completing three sets of toe walks try heel drops! Start by standing tall with both feet firmly planted on the ground and lift up onto your tiptoes again; once balanced hold this position for five seconds then gently lower back down until both heels are resting against the floor and pause for another five seconds before repeating eight more times for a total of nine reps per set.

Ankle Circles

  1. The benefits of ankle circles are that they strengthen the muscles in the ankle, improve balance and coordination, and increase flexibility.
  1. It's important to practice proper technique while performing ankle circles to get the most out of the exercise.
  1. To do ankle circles, start by standing on one foot and circling the ankle in a clockwise direction, then do the same in a counter-clockwise direction.
  1. Make sure to keep your knee and toes pointing forward while circling the ankle, and keep the movements slow and controlled.

Benefits Of Ankle Circles

Ankle circles are a simple yet effective exercise for strengthening the ankle muscle, improving balance and reducing stiffness. They can be done anytime, anywhere with no equipment required. This makes them an ideal choice when looking to improve mobility of the ankle joint.

When performed regularly, they can help increase flexibility in the area while also promoting circulation which helps reduce any swelling or inflammation that may have been present. Additionally, by performing these exercises on both ankles it can provide improved balance throughout your feet and lower legs as well as increased range of motion for activities such as walking and running.

Not only will you experience reduced stiffness but this exercise will also help build strength in muscles surrounding the ankle joint. Furthermore, incorporating ankle circles into your regular routine is a great way to prevent further injury or reinjury to the area as there’s less risk of strain from everyday movements.

In conclusion, doing ankle circles provides many benefits including improved balance, reduced stiffness and better overall mobility – all without needing any special equipment!

Technique For Ankle Circles

Now that you know the benefits of ankle circles, it’s time to get into the technique.

To start off, stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on a wall or chair for balance if needed.

Then slowly rotate one foot in small circles while keeping the other still – this can be done clockwise as well as anti-clockwise.

Depending on your needs, you may wish to add some extra resistance by using an elastic band around the ankles or even doing them on a foam roller which will provide more stability.

Additionally, incorporating kinesio taping techniques such as applying tape along the outer side of the ankle joint can help increase range of motion too!

So there are many different ways in which you can vary these exercises depending on what works best for you.

All in all, keep practicing and remember to switch up sides regularly so that each is receiving equal attention!

Ankle Pumps

Picture yourself standing on one foot, balancing your weight as you take a deep breath in. You can feel the strain of holding this position for even just a few seconds and then slowly exhaling. This is what physiotherapy exercises for strengthening the ankle involve - challenging the body to maintain balance while increasing flexibility and strength.

Here are five exercises that will help strengthen your ankles:

  • Foot Massage: Gently kneading your feet with your hands or using an electric massager helps improve circulation and reduce stress in the area.
  • Calf Raises: Standing up tall with both feet parallel on the ground, raise up onto your toes and hold for 10 seconds before lowering down back to starting position. Repeat this exercise several times throughout each day.
  • Ankle Squats: Start by lifting one heel off of the floor and squatting straight down into a low lunge position until thighs become parallel to the floor. Release out of the lunge by pressing through your toes and returning back to standing position. Alternate legs when repeating this exercise multiple times per day.
  • Balance Boards: Stand on a flat board placed at an angle so that it rocks slightly from side to side. Try shifting your weight between feet to control motion as best as possible for increased stability training.
  • Single Leg Stance: Lift one leg off of the ground while keeping hips level with shoulders square forward; if necessary hold onto something steady like a wall or chair to assist balance while performing this exercise daily without overstretching muscles or joints involved in movement process.

Through these simple but effective exercises, you can begin building strong, healthy ankles right away!

Lateral Walks

I'm curious to know what's the optimal step-width for lateral walks?

Does it depend on the individual's foot position?

How many repetitions should one do for best results?

Is there an ideal time frame for the exercise?

Should we be focusing on speed or form when doing lateral walks?

How often should we aim to do these exercises for maximum effect?


Starting off with lateral walks, which are a great way to strengthen the ankle.

They involve stepping sideways and crossing one foot over the other repeatedly, while keeping your feet at hip width apart.

To make this exercise even more effective, you can challenge yourself by increasing your step-width.

This means widening the distance between both feet as much as possible before taking each step.

For an extra layer of protection against injury, consider applying some athletic tape around your ankles prior to stair climbing or any strenuous activity involving the lower body.

Doing so will help keep them stable during exercises like lateral walks, thus providing extra support for muscles and joints in the area.

With that being said though, it’s essential to remember proper form when performing these exercises; otherwise you won't be able to reap all their benefits.

Foot Position

When it comes to lateral walks, the position of your feet is just as important as the exercise itself.

To make sure you're doing them correctly and safely, you should choose appropriate footwear that provides enough support and cushioning for your ankles and lower legs. If necessary, you may even consider making modifications to certain shoes such as adding heel cups or arch supports – both of which can help protect your feet when performing this exercise.

Additionally, selecting a pair with good traction will also ensure that your footing remains secure throughout the entire duration of your workout.

With all these considerations in mind, you'll be able to get the most out of each step while minimizing the risk of injury.


Once you've got the basics down, it's time to focus on repetitions. How many should you do? That depends on your goals and body mechanics – if you're looking to improve balance and stability, then fewer reps are better. However, if muscle fatigue is what you're after, more may be necessary.

But no matter how many times you repeat these lateral walks, make sure that each step is taken with precision and control to get the most out of this exercise. With proper form in mind and a good pair of shoes, there's nothing stopping you from achieving your fitness goals!

Ankle Rotations

Now that you have gained strength and stability with lateral walks, it’s time to focus on improving flexibility in your ankle.

Ankle rotations are an easy exercise that helps prevent injuries while increasing mobility of the joint.

To perform this exercise, stand straight upright and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.

Begin by slowly rotating your right foot clockwise for five complete circles, then switch directions and rotate counterclockwise for another five circles.

Now do the same process with your left foot.

You should feel a slight stretching sensation throughout the ankle as you move through each rotation.

Once finished, take a moment to observe how much easier it is to turn or even flex your ankles compared to before you started the exercise.

With consistent practice, these exercises can help increase circulation, improve flexibility and keep any potential injury at bay.

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are an important part of strengthening the ankle.

Proprioception drills, which involve balancing on one foot and performing small movements with the other, can help improve balance and stability around the ankle joint.

Ankle braces can also be helpful in providing extra support while doing these types of exercises.

When beginning any new exercise routine it is always best to start slowly and gradually increase intensity as strength improves.

It is especially important to pay attention to body mechanics when engaging in proprioception drills and use caution if feeling pain or discomfort during any activity.

Additionally, exercising regularly with proper form will yield better results than sporadically practicing incorrect form.

With patience, consistency, and a commitment to safety, balance exercises can help strengthen the ankle for improved overall health.

Single-Leg Stands

Single-leg stands are ideal for strengthening the ankle. They involve standing on one leg with your eyes open and feet hip-width apart. The goal is to maintain balance in this position, which requires focus and concentration in order to engage all of the muscles needed to stabilize the ankle joint. Additionally, you can use a wall or chair for support if necessary.

In addition to strengthening techniques, single-leg stands also provide an opportunity to stretch out tight calf muscles that often accompany weak ankles. When performing the exercise, be sure to keep the heel firmly planted on the ground while keeping tension along the back of the leg by pushing outward through both feet and raising up into a “taller” stance. This stretching technique helps increase flexibility and range of motion around the ankle joint over time.

To further progress single-leg stands, you can work towards closing your eyes during practice or try doing them without any support from walls or chairs. As always, it is important to listen to your body's feedback when progressing exercises like these and stop immediately if discomfort arises.

Practicing single-leg stands regularly will help build strength and stability within the ankle joints overtime.

Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance band exercises are a great way to strengthen the ankle and improve proprioception. They can be used for stretching techniques as well as simple strengthening drills. These exercises require no equipment other than a resistance band, making them easy to do at home or while traveling.

To begin, stand with both feet facing forward on one end of the resistance band. Hold it in both hands and place it around your ankles so that there is tension on the band when you pull your feet apart. Pull your feet apart slowly until you feel some slight resistance from the band. Then return your feet back together slowly using controlled movements through the entire range of motion.

This exercise will help strengthen muscles in each foot individually and provide better balance control overall.

Another exercise involves looping the resistance band over one foot and standing on it with both legs bent at 90-degree angles. Maintaining this position while keeping proper form helps work on proprioception drills as well as helping to build strength throughout the lower leg area including calves, shins, hamstrings, and glutes.

Once comfortable with this drill, try adding some dynamic movements such as hopping up and down or side-to-side while remaining balanced within the resistance provided by the band. With continued practice these exercises can help make significant improvements in ankle stability, muscle coordination, and flexibility which will all aid in preventing future ankle injuries.


I hope these exercises help to strengthen your ankle!

It's important to start slowly and build up the intensity of each exercise over time.

You can also perform them on a daily basis for best results.

Remember, it's all about taking care of yourself: don't push too hard if you're feeling any pain or discomfort.

If that happens, take a break and try again once you feel better.

With patience and consistency, you'll soon be able to reap the rewards of stronger ankles!

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