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Ankle Strengthening Exercises for Runners

Mukta Gaikwad Jan 25, 2019
Ankle injuries are very common among runners, which is why ankle strengthening exercises are a must for athletes. Strengthening exercises not only aid in keeping injuries at bay, but they also help to heal sprains and other injuries.
Ankle injuries with runners are extremely common. A total recovery of such injuries is absolutely possible with proper care and caution. Most of these injuries are due to ankle over use. Such injuries are commonly witnessed during training, as with every mile, the feet absorb 110 tons of energy.
No wonder, 70% of all runners suffer from injuries every single year! Ankle strengthening exercises for runners are designed in a way which helps the muscles around the ankles to gain strength.

Ankle Exercises for Running

Calf Raises

Also known as heel raises, these help in strengthening the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. Stand on the edge of the stair or a platform. Keep the balls of your feet rested and supported, while the heels are free. Now try to lift the heels as much as you can and as far as you can.
Slowly bring your heels down to the level of the platform. Try practicing by increasing the weight on your heels. Do so by placing one foot behind your other heel, or by placing barbells on your shoulders. However, do this only for five minutes at the start of your actual workout session.

Toe Raises

The shin muscles are very small and thus prone to serious injuries. These muscles have to be worked for proper development of the calf muscles.
Initially you can do the toe raises, while seated on a chair. Find a comfortable position to sit in with both your feet on the ground. Now raise your heels off the ground and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times.

Peroneal Muscle Exercises

Peroneal muscle exercises reinstate the strength of the calves. To perform this exercise, you will need a large tube. Cut out a band from the tube and twist it around your front feet, keeping it six inches apart approximately.
Sit down and stretch the tube by stretching your toes in an outward direction horizontally and then back to relax. Your heels must be as still as possible. Try doing this about 20 times at one go.

Sprain Strengthening Exercises

Sprained ankles take a long time to heal and regain the lost strength. With regular practice of sprain strengthening exercises you can get your ankle back to normal functioning.
Stand upright on a pillow. Balance your affected leg by lifting the other leg and holding it with one hand. Try holding this position till the count of ten. You can also use a resistance band to bring back the strength in your sprained ankle.
Wrap the band around your front foot and hold the other ends of the band in your hands. Gently try pushing the band down with your ankle. Hold the position for a few seconds and let go.
You can also try some additional ankle strengthening exercises. Heel walking and toe walking with your shoes on for 2-3 minutes everyday can also be termed as ankle strength exercises. Balance exercises are also equally promising.
Avoid running for long hours while recovering from ankle injuries. Running on cemented pavements can cause irreparable damage to your ankles. Wearing proper shoes and taking professional training will go a long way in keeping your ankles in good shape.