Ankle Strengthening Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Ankle Strengthening Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Jo. I’m going to show
you some ankle strengthening exercises today. Now there have already been some ankle stretching
exercises along with the plantar fasciitis videos. So you can go there and get some stretches
for that. So it will stretch your ankle area which will be your calves, and your planar
fascia, and there is also some strengthening in the shin splints video. Which also gives
you some stretching and strengthening. So this is just going to add in showing you some
strengthening with the theraband. So let’s get going with that. Okay, so now I’m just
going to show you a simple 4 way ankle exercise with the theraband. We’ve talked about the
bands a little bit about how the colors are different resistance. I’m just going to show
you with the yellow, which is the lightest, but if it’s very easy for you, you get to
20-25 repetitions and it’s not hard, then you can bump up the resistance. What I usually
do with the ankle, is I’ll prop something under the ankle because you want to have good
movement. You don’t want your heel to be hitting the floor. Because you are not going to get
good movement in the ankle. So you can prop it up with a noodle if you have it, you can
roll up a beach towel. Just kind of place it underneath where your Achilles tendon is,
so you will have movement in your heel to get going. So I’ve put a little loop on the
end of my band, and that’s just so I can place it around my foot, and get a good hold on
it. Now you want the band to be at the ball of your foot. You don’t want it to be up on
your toes, because it will probably slip off and hit your face, and you don’t don’t want
it down at the bottom of your foot because you’re not going to get good resistance. So
you want it to try and stay on the ball of your foot if possible. So the first one you
want to give yourself some good resistance, and you’re just going to push forward as far
as you can, and then slowly come back as far as you can. Now the key with this is, when
you go down, and you come back, control it coming back. You don’t want the band to let
it fly back, you want to control it going back. So your just going to start off with
10-15 times, and again, if that’s easy, and you get up to 20-25 times, and it’s not hard,
and your not feeling a little bit of burn, then you want to bump up your resistive band.
So you’re just going to push down, and slowly come back. Now we want to get all four directions
since it’s the 4 way ankle I was telling you about. Sometimes you just have nobody to hold
onto the band for you. If you have somebody that wants to help you rehab your ankle, they
can just go around in these directions, but you don’t always have that luxury when you’re
trying to get your exercises in, somebody might not be there. So, to go out, what you
are going to do is turn it on the inside. The knot is going to be on the inside, and
you are going to wrap the band around your other foot. So it’s going to be a motion all
the around, so now the resistance is this way, and you’re going to pull your ankle out.
Now the key with this one is you don’t want to pull your whole leg out. You’re not exercising
your leg, you’re exercising your ankle. So you’re really trying to just move that ankle
out, and slowly come back in. So if you feel like you are doing this, hold your leg in
place, so your leg doesn’t move. Pulling with your ankle out, and slowly coming back in.
Same thing, 10-15 times, if you get to 20-25 and it’s easy, bump up that resistance. So
the next way, we are going to go in. The way to do that if you don’t have any help or anyone
to hold onto it. You are going to cross your foot over, and you are going to wrap it around
this way. So now the knot is on the outside of the foot. So now the resistance is coming
from this direction, so now you are going to push your foot this way. So same thing,
you are going to pull at your ankle and not at your leg. If you need more resistance,
you can cross your leg more, and pull it out, and coming in. Now I came back just a little
too fast. Remember you want to control it, you don’t want to let the band control you,
you control the band. So your pulling in, and then slowly coming back out. Mine might
be a little weak. It’s trying to fight it a little bit, but nice and controlled, 10-15
times. Now the last one you are going to need a little help, a little anchor somewhere.
If you’ve got a sturdy table, coffee table, heavy chair, you can use that. What you are
going to do, is the knot is going to be on the bottom part now, and if you’ve got something
right here, you can wrap it around, and then pull it this way. Same thing, you want it
to be around the ball of the foot, and now you want to come in this direction. So you’re
pulling your foot up this way, and then slowly coming back down. Same thing, you’re controlling
the band, don’t let the band control you. 10-15 times, if you get to 20-25 and it’s
too easy, bump up that resistance. And there you go, you’ve got a 4 way ankle strengthening
exercise. Alright, so there you have it. So those were some ankle strengthening exercises.
The 4 way with the resistive band. And remember you also have some stretching and some more
strengthening of the ankle with your plantar fasciitis video and also your shin splints
video. So if you want to go check those out, please go to and remember
have fun, be safe, and I hope you feel better soon!

100 Replies to “Ankle Strengthening Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Hi Dr Jo, a week ago I have done a physiotherapy after surgery on mellalous ankle on 5.11.15…i was done the physio exercises as said by my trainer…but i have problem as my heel and toe feel very hurt when i step my there any way to heal it?..even using ice or warm water it doesnt better after a week…

  2. Nope..I just soak my left leg with warm water in bucket or wrap my ankle with ice…My physiotherapy trainer said that I can walk after a week but it seems not…do You have other advice that can help me Dr?…

  3. I had an ankle sprain "second degree" 14 months ago ,I make 9 physiotherapy sessions (ultrasound , liser ,infrared , tens & some other exercises) after 4 weeks of removing splint ,The pain is little gone and i could walk and run normally, but now i feel some pain while doing some movements or walking for along also after sleeping little pain around the ankle ,so i went to physical therapy again , she said that i'm a normal case and that is just illusion and i'm fine (i knew that she doesn't understand anything )!!, I tried to heal my ankle by myself and i did these exercises ,now i feel some pain around ankle while performing the exercises 2 and 3 ,so should i go on with these exercises and the pain disappears or what should i do ? thanks

  4. Are these exercises beneficial if I have a tendonitis issue on the inside of my ankle, no problem with the outside, and will not harm that area?

  5. Thanks for this very useful video. I have two questions for you. I get pain in my ankle if I walk fast. I am at least 10lb over weight. Should I try this ankle stretching before I walk? Or it will help me if I do it anytime of the day? If I am already in pain, should I try this (no ankle injury)? Thank you.

  6. I broke my ankle during summer , and it healed but it took like 3 months , but it's been almost a year now and it's still swollen and looks deformed when it got better I didn't do my exercises , do you think I can still do them to fix it or i need surgery?

  7. Hello….Very much helpful and excellent explanation. Can you please help me with my problem? – I have had severe fracture to my left ankle (diagnosed with HAWKINS'S TYPE III FRACTURE OF TALUS WITH SUBTALAR JOINT DISLOCATION – ORIF OF LEFT TALUS done on 28.03.2015). Herbert's screws are used to facilitate the fixation. I have been on complete bed rest for 4 months. After one year, nearly 40% of the ankle movement is lost and I couldn't walk on plain surfaces inclined upwards. The range of motion in the upward direction is very limited and. So, after one year of my surgery, is it possible to regain the actual movement of my ankle by doing these mobility exercises. I am unable to run and perform most of the daily activities due to this blocked movement. I am very scared that I have to be like this for my entire life. Please help me with your valuable suggestion.

  8. great video. very useful. I notice that when i flex my foot (toward my knees) a flat spot or dent appears in my shin muscle. both legs. They are prominent when the muscle is at full load with feet flexed toward my knees. I suppose it's normal. If not will this help build that area up? thanks.

  9. Dr Jo. Rember me Steve kierstead, I had a stroke and you helped me with my balance to walk again.
    I need some help with my ankle. I've been wearing an AFO because of my stroke. Now I'm finding it hard to bend my ankle and my hip and knee are suffering from it.
    Last time I visited my pt I mentiomed it to him and he tried to bend it and couldn't. It wouldn't move. Is there something I can do to get it bending again. Thanks

  10. i had ilizarov fixator on my right leg tibia fracture for 20
    months—-my ankle got stiff—-will these exercise help my ankle or any

  11. I was told by a fitness trainer to put a hard foam roller (pvc pipe) under the achilles and move back and forth or side to side on it. Does this sound safe or will that aggravate the achilles tendon?

  12. I have recently hurt my ankle and I don't know how, I've been having trouble walking on it and I do dancing 3 times a week
    I have had my ankle strapped for the last week or two. I tried going to school recently without tape on a day where I have no sport or activity, however I like to run around during recess. What should I do?
    Do you think strapping tape is better or an ankle guard?

  13. Thank you! I have to do these exact exercises for a weak ankle/lower leg due to back disc problem. My PT said try sitting and putting the bad ankle up onto the good knee but that was too awkward and hard to do. I had mostly given up on doing these exercises until I saw this video. Your method makes it very easy. Very helpful, thanks!

  14. hey doctor joe,

    i play soccer
    i have weak dorsiflextion,inversion and tight legs specially it band and calves
    my foot are also flat but not completely flat,like my middle and lateral side of the foot is flat while is till have some on the medial side (inside part of foot)
    i have problem fitting in soccer shoes because my right foot arches are pulled upwards because of my tight calves and leg as told by my physician,my left is fine btw
    my pt has given some exercises to follow also suggested to do foam rolling and stretching to get my right foot medial side arches lower and normal
    do u think if do foam rolling and stretching my right foot arch would get back to normal ?
    please reply

  15. I'm a ballet dancer and I have hypo-mobility. I have been told to do ankle strengthening exercises but I was put on a black Theraband and I can do all the exercises in the video with the black band and still not feeling anything. Do you have any suggestions on why?

  16. I am currently treating Plantar Fasciitis in my right ankle. This is an ankle I have previously broken and strained many times. Would exercises like this be sufficient to help heal and strengthen my ankles or should I do something extra??

  17. Hello how are you I have a physically handicapped and I can not move the ankles and when I put my foot on the ground comb touch the ground in the first

  18. After a few hard sprains the past year, I seem to have some fluid build up in Right Ankle. Is that normal? A problem? Thanks!

  19. doctor joe i suffered from gbs in 2010 ..i had taken immunoglobin injeection and since then continued physiotherapy..i have recovered completly but theres foot drop tht still persisting m able to dorsiflex slightly …i m able to invert and evert my foot..and MY tendons are not stiff.. and its improving but its gradual i m using splint i need to wear the splint all the time? offlate my inversion and eversion have improved..can u plss gimme some tips?…AND MY R8 FOOT TOES ARE MOVING BUT THE ANKLE MOVEMENT IS NOT COMING… CAN THE TOES BRING ABOUT A MOVEMENT AT THE ANKLE JOINT AFTER THEY GET ENOUGH STRENGTH?…AND I HAVE A HYPEREXTENTION IN KNEE CAN U TELL ME SOME EVCERCISES TO HELP. ME? AFTER GBS OVER A PERIOD IT HAPPENEED .PLS HELP ME

  20. I play a lot of football or astro turf and have rolled my ankles so many times. will these exercises eventually prevent that?

  21. Just got release from dr to start walking on foot after surgery I broke my fibula and tibia .
    I wanted to know how many times a day should I do these exercises and for how long .
    And how long should I be walking for I try walking and I feel pain still .
    I can't bend ankle.
    What do you recommend for pain

  22. Yes he did but I won't start therapy till next week.
    I wanted to start some exercises or get some advice meanwhile I wait.
    Or what should I do to expedite the process.
    I would really appreciate any advice you have.
    And regarding cases like this I'm 23 years old and wanted to see what is if you have had any peo

  23. People that you know that have had a similar fracture hoe long did it take them after starting walking on it to be at 100% movement .?? Just wanted to know when I can go back to work since I work in construction. Just want to have an idea how long will be the process in recovery

  24. While watching this video I was just practicing without a band and could tell this is really going to help! Thanks

  25. Thanks Dr Jo. Broke my 5th metatarsal Jones fracture about 10 weeks ago and starting to rehab everything for about 2 weeks now. My ankle feels worse than my foot when I try to walk. Definitely needs strengthening. Going to gently give these a try.

  26. Hi Jo,
    How many sets of these should I do (as in, how many times should I repeat the four exercises)? And how many times a day should I do it?

    I've just recovered from an ankle sprain and I walk comfortably, I'm just trying to strengthen it before I go back to running or playing amateur soccer.

  27. Hello Doc Jo, I torn my left ankle ligaments 3 years back and did not finish my physiotheraphy. So im doing heavy weigh training with no fuss but I can't run for too long or move sideways fast and on some days n can't walk properly. Will this resistent band excercises help me to recover.

  28. Thanks so much for the info. Question? 6 months ago, my husband had total ankle replacement surgery required due car accident many years ago which led to surgery. New incision had to be where previous scar tissue was, so new incision healing was fragile immed. Following replacement, so PT was postponed until healing occurred. We are now 6 mos. later & have been ok'd for PT. what exercises are suitable for improving ROM, and and ankle strengthening? Also, since PT was delayed, is it reasonable to expect to achieve normal ROM? I'm sure there has been some internal scar tissue formed & we've heard stories of knee rehabs whereby the joint was manually forced (by PT) to "break up internal scar tissue" after surgery. We are hoping to avoid this, at all costs. What are your thoughts? Please let me know as I am really trying to help my husband. Thanks!

  29. Can you do these exercises daily, or is it like lifting weights, where you need a 48 hour rest period between workouts?

  30. I've had ankle surgery in the healing stage now doctor said I need to get my food moving (stretching) will this work for me ?

  31. Doctor jo I think you have saved me I have weak ankles and I have broke both my feet and now I just hurt my left real bad I've hurt them all in one year three breaks in one year you have saved me thank you please respond

  32. I have extremely flat feet and my ankles pronate excessively. I wear orthotics. Will doing these help train my feet to have a more normal range of motion ?

  33. My right calcanius multiple fracture and 6 no.4mm screw fixation before 4 month.
    Can I ferform this type of experience please reply.

  34. I'm so glad I came across your channel. I have posterior tibial tendinitis. After having at least 7 PT sessions, I'm still suffering . But your videos are helping me to better understand what needs to be stretched and strengthened and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you!

  35. Hello dear thanks for the video . I had my surgery on december 30 2017 and now I have been advised by my doctor to join my office . I broke my fibula and doctor have put plate and screw on my ankle . I have been asked to wear ankle brace and use a walker for 1 week and then use a stick to walk . If I am going t the bathroom and moment I put my foot on the ground I feel I am going to fall , any suggestions how much time it takes to heal . it is very painfull . Only thing i do is hot water massage and putting oil on the affected leg . thanks

  36. Hi Dr. Jo,
    I have some minor strain in my ATFL ligament for the past 4-5 months. Will these exercises help relieve the pain? Are there any other exercises I should do?

  37. Hey,

    I injured my ankle ligaments, the inward injury. it's been 2 months. when I try doing exercise it hurts. not unbearable but yes pain. is it normal? should I continue doing?

  38. Hi Dr Jo, I have been struggling with my ankle for about a year now (overuse injury) and I’m unsure what to do . The strengthening exercises and alphabet exercises make it worst. I do the towel strech and it helps … I have a hard time going in dorsiflexion with my ankle. Only goes about half way compare to the other ankle. (Like it stops half way) . Any advice. Thank you very much

  39. Hi I am 15 year old I am suffering from ankle injury's since 3 months and reinjured myself 4 times how to prevent it

  40. where are you from??? i love foam rolling lol, but i dont feel as much pain as everyone else claims they do when they roll, so do i have nerve damage or something

  41. Hello Doctor Jo. It's been 2 months since my ankle injury. The pain is totally gone but still I can't run so should I start with these ???

  42. Medam iam midhun iam from India an I have an problem of an ankle feet ..then iam a pressional runner..i cant run in last 7 month..please medam any pain relif excise or idea..please help

  43. I had gone through ankle surgery bone jointed well..but I lose my flexibility..I can't move my ankle…m I able to walk…?? Pls give me suggestion..

  44. I had a ankle surgery for trimaleola fracture 2 wks ago. My Dr. told me to do ankle joint exercise at today's visit. And he bent my ankle up hard , hurted me tremendously. He did 3 times. Now I lost confidence in him.
    So I want your advice.
    Is it right to do joint exercise only after 2wks post surgery ?

  45. I am having foot drop after my accident and my total hip replacement had done 1 year ago now my foot slightly moving how it can Fully cured pls suggest me

  46. Where do you get your bands from? I have weak ankles from running a lot so I experience some pain would these exercises help to improve my run

  47. Buy a printable worksheet with the Ankle Strengthening Exercises & Stretches in this video here:

  48. I got operated on my left anckle, i thought this foot can mobilized properly since i can walk already, and even run at that. However, when i bend my knees for the past months i noticed its painfull. Will this excersize relieve pain even if this already took, maybe 12 months or so?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *