Ankle Mobility


Ankle Mobility Exercises: BY MARK WALLACE

 Ankle Mobility

-Stand in front of a wall in a staggered stance with one foot in front of the other. Front foot approx. 6-8 inches away from a wall. Place both hands on the wall and bend the front knee forward towards the wall. Bend the knee as far as you can without actually touching the wall. Make sure to keep your heel of front foot down at all times. This forces your ankle joint to rotate. This should be an easy back and forth movement. So don’t feel the need to stretch and hold the position for a period of time. Return to starting position with front leg locked. Continue motions back and forth for about 15-20 reps. After completing, stay in same position/stance. Now bend knee at an inward angle towards your body but still forward towards the wall. Remember to keep your heel down. Don’t worry about going too far during this motion. The more often this exercise is practiced, the more mobile and further your ankle will be able to move. Bend knee inward for 15-20 reps and then do the same outward. Always do both legs!

 Leg Swings

                -Stand in front of a wall with both hands in front against the wall. Swing one leg in front of other out away from the body and then across the body. Keep planted heel down at all times. The objective is to get into a bit of a rhythm while doing this. Don’t try to stretch the hips by going too far out or across. This is an ankle exercise so without putting stress on the ankle keep body weight on planted foot and just swing the other leg back and forth for 15-20 reps. Switch legs when done.

 Split Squat

                -Get into a staggered stance by putting one foot in front of the other but not too far. Place both hands behind your head. Now squat down like you’re doing a lunge without the lunge part. Keep back straight and only bend your knees. Make sure your front legged knee does not go further forward than where your toes are sitting. Doing so would put pressure on your knee and eventually weakening the tendons making your more susceptible to injury. Remember this is NOT a lunge so don’t lean forward or back to stretch your hips. You shouldn’t feel much of a stretch. Try not to touch knee to floor. Once moved down, come back up to starting position. 15-20 reps on each leg.

 Split Squat Rear Foot Elevated

                This exercise is a lot like the regular split squat but, obvious from the name, your rear foot is elevated. Place your rear foot on a chair, bench, anything that isn’t too high to make yourself unbalanced but high enough so you can squat down and mobilize the ankle. The placement of your rear foot is important. Lay the top of the rear foot on the object behind you. Don’t extend the toes, only have the tip of the toes touching the platform. Squat down, keeping your knee from overlapping your toes like in a regular split squat. This exercise will require more of a hip flexor stretch depending on the level of elevation of the platform behind you, however, the focus is still on the ankle planted on the ground. 15-20 reps each leg.


It’s important to remember that these are mobilization exercises, NOT weighted exercises.They are designed to regain lost mobility in the ankle joints, NOT to strengthen any muscles. So even though you may not feel a “burn” like in a normal workout, trust that over time these exercises will improve not only your physical abilities in the gym, but in your everyday life as well.


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