Although running can help you achieve the toned, sexy body most people crave, pounding the pavement day after day can be hard on your ankles. However, properly stretching your ankles after your warm-up and before your run can help you avoid the misery of sore ankles. Warm up by walking for five minutes before stretching.
If you feel pain during any stretch, stop stretching and consult your physician.
Sit down and extend one leg off the ground, supporting your thigh with your hands. Rotate your ankle clockwise five times, and then counterclockwise five times. Repeat with the other leg.
Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you. Point your toes forward and hold for two seconds, and then flex them backward as far as they will go and hold for two seconds. Repeat five to 10 times.
Stretch your calves and ankles by sitting on the floor with your left leg extended straight out and the other leg bent so that the bottom of your foot faces toward your thigh. Place a towel under the ball of your foot and pull your foot toward your head until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat on the other leg.
Face a sturdy wall. Position your right foot so that your leg points straight back with your foot on the ground. Bend your left knee and put your foot closer to the wall. Lean forward so that your hands support you against the wall. Adjust your feet until you feel a stretch in your right calf. You might need to move your right foot closer to or farther away from the wall. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, then repeat with your left leg. Repeat four to five times.
- If you feel pain during any stretch, stop stretching and consult your physician.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.