This ankle mobility routine uses 4 exercises for healthy joints

You show off your shoulders and quads a lot of TLC. You might even give them special stretching sessions and treat them with recovery tools like percussive massagers. your ankles? We understand that you often overlook these important joints when it comes to self-care time.

You should focus more on how much your ankles are doing for you each day. Therefore in the above video Dr. Philip Tam, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Tailored treatments and personal trainer Vaughn Gray, NASM-CPT, guide you through a fast flow to get your ankles in tip-top shape.

Try these exercises the next time your ankles feel stiff or you feel like you’re missing some mobility. You’ll move better and find that there are more benefits than just feeling like you’ve ticked a box in your exercise plan.

The 3 minute routine for ankle mobility

“A lot of ankle stiffness is usually due to muscle or joint stiffness,” says Tam. “Today we’ll walk you through four mobility exercises to address both.” All of these movements can help loosen your ankles and potentially improve overall mobility as well .

foam rollers

“That’s going to be important because the calves attach to the ankle, and that stiffness in those muscles can often lead to limitations in the ankle complex,” says Tam. For this exercise, Tam recommends going up and down the foam roller 10 times before hitting the change other side.

●Take a foam roller and sit on the floor.

●Stretch out one leg and place it on a foam roller near your ankle. Support yourself with your arms behind your torso on the other foot, palms flat on the floor.

● Roll your lower leg up and down on the foam roller while twisting your foot in and out. Make sure you aim for the inside and outside or your calf muscle.

Ankle up and overs

Catchy-sounding exercise, right? “This is going to be key because you really want to control the range of motion that you have,” Tam says, stressing that you should be careful not to rotate your knees out with this move targeting your ankle dorsiflexors and evertor muscles. These two muscle groups control your full ankle mobility. Do 10 reps before switching to the other side.

● Start in a half-kneeling position.

● Lift the toes of your front foot towards the ceiling and keep your heel on the floor.

●Turn your foot outward, away from you, and plant your toes on the floor so they point away from you, but don’t shift your knee as you do so.

● Lift your toes and rotate your foot back to the starting position.

Qand Rock Back

This exercise really stretches the calves, big toe, and plantar fascia. Repeat 10 times.

●Start in a quadruped position (on all fours), with your weight on your hands and feet, knees off the floor.

● Rock back, shifting your butt onto your heels and keeping your hands planted on the floor. Hold for 3 seconds to emphasize the stretch.

3D mobilization with band

Grab a heavy resistance band for this exercise. “So this is going to be good because we’re really mobilizing that [ankle] Joint,” Tam says. Make sure the band has some tension and keep it right at your ankle joint to get the most out of this pose. Repeat for 10 reps.

● Start in a half-kneeling position.

● Wrap the band around your lower leg, just at the ‘crease’ of the ankle. Hold the band behind the leg tight enough to create tension.

●Shift your weight forward to bring your front knee over the middle of your toes, creating more tension in the ligament.

●Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

●Shift your weight forward to bring the front knee over the big toe, creating more tension in the ligament.

●Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

●Shift your weight forward to bring the front knee over the pinky toe, creating more tension in the ligament.

●Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

For more advice from physical therapists to help you move and feel better, check out all of our guides in The Fix series.

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