Mobility depends largely on your ankles and feet working together to support your body. Unfortunately, ankles are prone to injury as ankle sprains are very common for active individuals. A sprained ankle makes wearing high heels, exercising and most daily activities, such as walking, difficult to perform. Perform ankle stretches to prevent injuries, build up the muscles and tendons and improve your flexibility. Using the stairs for negative calf raises stretches your ankle, provides a good stretch for the calf and helps prevent Achilles tendinitis, which is the inflammation and irritation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle.
Place both feet firmly on a step. Grab the railings for support.
Step back so your toes are on the edge of the step. Come into a calf raise by lifting up onto both tiptoes using the muscles in your legs.
Lift and bend your right knee bringing your right heel toward your buttocks. Continue to use the railing for support. Take 10 seconds to slowly lower your left foot until your heel descends below the step. The slow movement helps strengthen and stretch the ankle.
Repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
- Stretch your ankles regularly, but it’s especially important before and after workouts.
- Avoid putting pressure on your foot or stretching your ankle if your foot is injured. Seek medical attention.
Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.