Exercises for Strong Ankles & Feet

Ballet dancers practice foot and ankle exercises before going en pointe.

Ballet dancers practice foot and ankle exercises before going en pointe.

Professional dancers know the importance of developing strong ankles and feet. Whether you're a ballerina or belly dancer or you just want to recover from a sprain, performing daily foot and ankle exercises will help you slowly develop ankles that don't wobble. Both "Dance Magazine" and "Runner's World" recommend exercises performed with a rubber exercise band that provides resistance. You'll also need a surface to press against.

Ankle and Foot Strengthener

Sit on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle to your body.

Place the resistance band around the balls of your feet.

Pull the two ends of the band toward you to create the amount of resistance that feels comfortable. You should be able to press against the band with relative ease but have enough resistance to provide a slight challenge.

Point and flex your feet, focusing on keeping your ankles straight. Repeat 10 times.

Foot Strengthener

Stand on a stair or aerobics step with the balls of your feet on the step and your ankles hanging off.

Slowly raise yourself on your toes. Hold for two seconds.

Lower your heels again.

Lift one foot off the step and repeat the exercise 10 times on each side, raising one foot at a time while you balance on the toes of the other.

Ankle Strengthener and Balance Exercise

Stand on your toes on the floor.

Lift one leg in front of you with your knee bent. Hold for five seconds.

Lower your raised foot back to the floor. Repeat five times on each side.

Items you will need

  • Resistance band
  • Chair
  • Aerobics step (optional)

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About the Author

Neville Smithson did his undergraduate work at Hampshire College and earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. Having had a change of heart about his passions, Smithson is now back in Massachusetts, where he enrolled in a combined MA/PhD physical therapy program.

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