Ankle Warm-Up Exercises

Achilles Tendon Stretch. Picture by Dr. Laura Inverarity

It is essential to warm up before any athletic activities to avoid injury. As ankle sprains are one of the most common types of sports injuries, ankle warm-up exercises are important for everyone to learn. Review three easy ankle warm-up exercises below.

Before starting this - or any other exercise program for your ankles - check in with your doctor and physical therapist to learn if exercise is safe for you to do.

Your physical therapist can also show you how to do these ankle exercises.

Achillies Tendon Stretching:

  1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Using a towel, loop it around the bottom of your feet.
  3. Pull the towel toward your chest until a gentle stretch is felt behind the ankle.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat five times.

This exercise is known as the towel calf stretch and can be part of a comprehensive stretching program.

Ankle Inversion:

  1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Turn your foot inward as far as possible.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat five times.

Ankle Eversion:

  1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Turn your foot outward as far as possible.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat five times.

Ankle Plantar Flexion and Dorsi Flexion

  1. Sit with your legs out in front of you.
  2. Actively flex your ankle up so your toes move towards your knees.
  3. Hold this position for 3 seconds.
  4. Point your ankles and toes down away from you.
  1. Hold this position for 3 seconds.
  2. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

Ankle Alphabet

  1. Sit with your legs out in front of you.
  2. You may want to hang your ankle and foot over the edge of a bed to allow for full mobility.
  3. Draw letters of the alphabet with your toes.
  4. Once you make it A to Z, repeat on the other foot.

    Ankle stretches can be done daily to keep your ankles moving properly. They also may be a part of your physical therapy rehab program after an ankle sprain, broken ankle, plantar fasciitis, or any other lower extremity injury. Your physical therapist can teach you exactly what you should do to keep your ankles healthy and moving properly.

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