Ankle pain is very common because ankles are one of those body parts most susceptible to injury. These joints function not just to help us to better move our feet forward and backward in an extend-and-flex motion, they also support our body weight especially while walking and running.
Toning exercises keep the body fit and help us to achieve better form and structure. Aside from these benefits, toning exercises are also good for strengthening our ankles. Here are some exercises that help prevent ankle pain by strengthening the ankles:
Stretching exercises will help the muscles around the joints become more flexible. Since muscle fibers will be subjected to regular series of tightening and shortening actions, proper stretching is needed to increase their flexibility.
For ankles, a good and simple exercise is to sit straight with your thighs and legs touching the floor and your feet directly in front of you. Extend or push your toes away for 10 seconds, then relax and do it again for two more sets. Then, flex or pull your toes away for 10 seconds, then go back to the normal position and do two more sets to complete this task.
2. Using Leg Weights and Ankle Weights
The use of leg and ankle weights is actually a strength-training exercise and toning exercise in one. It helps build up your legs’ stamina and endurance during running and walking.
While walking, you may add leg weights between two to five pounds per leg. This will help you become more agile as it enables your feet to be much nimbler and lighter. Accustomed to bearing additional weights on your legs for prolonged time during training, you will move and run faster once these leg weights are removed. Your ankles will carry your weight much easier.
Adding ankle weights from a fourth of a pound to 2 pounds per ankle is recommended usually for toning after running. As the muscles around the ankles are toned, further flexibility of muscles is achieved. This helps in avoiding sudden twists and in balancing the impact of the ground on our feet and our own body weight to these joints.
3. Balancing Exercises
Balancing and standing up straight with the correct posture is another simple toning exercise for the body especially for the abdominals and the back as they remain firm and flat.
Such balancing exercises can also help condition the ankle joints to be better prepared for bearing the weight of the whole body. Balancing involves standing up straight, with a correct posture, while just one leg is supporting the weight of the body for 3 to 5 minutes. Do it to the other leg for 3-5 minutes too.
Dancing is an aerobic and toning exercise performed with several repetitive and combined motions of stretching, extending, flexing and rotating muscles and joints.
While dancing, you may perform a dance step that involves your toes. You may point the toes and trace circular patterns on the floor in a clockwise direction for ten seconds, then counterclockwise for ten seconds, too. Do it to the other foot, and make larger circles for two more sets.