Your ankles play a huge role in almost every functional movement. Poor ankle flexibility not only affects your achievements in sports but also causes difficulty in everyday actions such as walking or standing.

Only 10 minutes of stretching each day can drastically improve your foot and ankle flexibility and prevent foot injuries.

Below you’ll find four easy exercises that may help individuals with tight calves and stiff ankles.

  1. Toe-Heel Walks 

This exercise will work both your ankles and your feet. Take your shoes off, let’s do it.

  1. Walk 5 steps standing on your toes
  2. Turn around, walk back 5 steps standing on your heels
  3. Repeat 4-5 times

The best thing about this exercise is that you can do this anytime: in the office, while cooking or playing with the kids.

2. Lunges

This exercise is wonderful for strengthening ankles and improving balance.  There are many types of lunges but if you’re a beginner start with static lunges and then move on to the more difficult versions. If this is your first time doing this exercise, you may need professional help to correct your form. 

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Start with one foot in front of the other, toes facing forward
  2. Keep your chest up and back straight.
  3. Bend your back knee down as low as you can
  4. Then push yourself up again.
  5. Repeat 8-10 times

3. Stretch With A Towel

One of our favorite stretches, it really works the muscles of your ankle and calves and if done each day you will notice the difference.

  1. Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
  2. Wrap a towel around your toes on both feet.
  3. Pull back slightly until you start to feel a stretch 
  4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times

4. Achilles Stretch

The Achilles tendon is a cord connecting the heel to the calf muscles.  Keeping it strong may help with foot, ankle, or leg pain.

To do this exercise:

  1. Place your hands on a wall for balance ( you can also do this with a chair, countertop or tree).
  2. Step back with your left leg.Then, bend the knee of the opposite leg.
  3. Keep both the heels flat on the floor.
  4. Push the hips forward until there is a stretching feeling in the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  5. Hold for 15-30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat three times on each side.

For having healthy feet and avoiding injuries, we need regular foot exercises. Along with it, selecting the best shoes for your feet is similarly essential, as it makes feet more protected from injuries, and provides support to make walking and running more comfortable.

10 mins a day performing these simple exercises can help ease existing pain, prevent discomfort and reduce the risk of injury.

Start it today, your legs will be grateful.

May 26, 2021 — Eszter Majoros