How to strengthen ankles
Earlier this week we tackled problem knees, but what if your pain is a bit further down? Injury-prone ankles are a nightmare for fitness fans and can stop your routine in its tracks. It's important not to exert pressure on an injury, but there are things you can do to speed up recovery. Likewise, keeping the ankle strong will prevent further problems and keep your body in top performance shape.
Resistance band exercises
Sitting down, place the resistance band under one foot, holding on to the other end with both hands. Pull the leg up and twist the ankle right, pulling against the force of your arm holding the band. Pull the band to the right, and move your ankle to the left. Repeat several times before switching feet.
Tie the band around a fixed object to the outer side of your ankle, and keep your foot in a relaxed position. Move your ankle down and in, before returning to the relaxed position. Repeat ten times before changing feet (remembering the object has to be on the outside of the ankle).
Stand barefoot with feet parallel. Rise up on to your toes, and then lower back down. Repeat for a minute.
Sitting on a chair cross one leg over the other, resting the ankle on your knee. Roll your ankles in big, exaggerated circles. Repeat on the other side.
Put a pile of books or magazines on the floor. Stand on them with only the balls of your feet and heels on the ground (if heels can't touch the floor, reduce the height). Raise feet so they are in a straight line, or go up to tip toes if you can. Repeat for a minute.
Place a pillow on the floor, standing on it with one foot. Balance on this leg, holding the position for ten seconds. Repeat ten times before changing legs.