Ankle stability exercises

Ankle stability exercises constitute an extremely important part of ankle training and rehabilitation. Without these balance exercise for stability, the brain's ability to reintegrate proper ankle function, movement and position is impaired, making re injury and instability a likely consequence.

This phenomenon is called proprioception and is the main goal of the ankle stability exercise listed on this page.

These exercises are:

  1. Single leg balance
  2. Single leg balance with eyes closed
  3. Single leg balance with leg stretched out
  4. Single leg balance with leg stretched out and eyes closed
  5. Two legged wobble board balance
  6. Two legged wobble board balance with eyes closed
  7. Squat on wobble board
  8. Squat on wobble board with eyes closed
  9. Single leg balance on wobble board
  10. Sinlge leg balance on wobble board with eyes closed

Why do I have to close my eyes during these ankle stability exercises?

You'll notice that there are actually only five ankle stability exercises to try but each one is made progressively more difficult by closing your eyes. Why is this?

You brain has several ways of knowing what you body is doing, where your limbs are, how well you are balancing and so on. These are you eyes, you inner ear, and your sense of proprioception. Your sense of proprioception is the sense we want to build here. By remving the eyes your brain has to rely more on proprioception. When this sense is pushed it will improve!

Single leg balance

This one is pretty straight forward. Stand on one leg and try and balance. As with all of these exercises it is reccomended that you stand next to something to start with, in case your balance is quite poor!

Try this exercise for a few days, once you can balance without any problems, try closing your eyes. This will be very difficult to begin with but in time you'll master it. Once you have you can move on to the next exercise.

Single leg balance with leg stretched out

This ankle stability exercise is a little more advanced so take you time and don't get impatient. To start with balance on one leg as you did in the previous exercise, then slowly take your other leg and push it out behind you as is demonstrated by Louise in the pictures below.

one legged ankle balance exercise
one legged ankle exercise for balance

You will need to lean your body forwards as a counter weight so you will end up in a sort of T position. Perhaps that would have been a better name? Once you have got this down, after a few days of trying you can try with yor eyes closed. Of course now you are not only improving your ankle stability but infact the stability through you knee, hip, pelvis and lower back - good work! After a couple of weeks you are ready to move onto the wobble board..

Two legged wobble board balance

A wobble board is anthing that provides an unstable surface - an extemely important aspect when it comes to improving ankle stability. Along with the ankle stengthening, stretching and mobility exercises, mastering the wobble board will provide you with such a solid foundation an earthquake couldn't knock you down.

Follow what Louise is doing in the image below until you can do it comfortably for at elast a minute without falling off. Again these more advanced stability exercises are going to be quite challenging to being with but will be worth it especially if you suffer from foot and ankle pain or are particulary susceptible to ankle injury.

Like all of these exersice, try for a few days and once you have got the hang of it and are able to maintain a good balance for at least a minute you can try it again with your eyes closed. While this may seem impossible for now, if you follow the ankle stability program properly all the way through without skipping bit you will actually find it quite easy time.

Squat on wobble board

This exercise is a natural progression from the exercise before. If you've got mobility issues with you back, hip or knees, you willl find this difficult so don't worry about it too much and just move onto the next exercise.

Plant both feet firmly on the wobble board (something you should be finding quite easy by now) and then perform a squat. If you don't know how to do a squat then follow our guide on how to do a safe and strong squat. Repeat this exercise several times before you move onto the next exercise.

wobble board squat,ankle stability-exerciseAn advanced ankle stability exercise, a two legged squat on a wobble board!

Once you have mastered this, yes you guessed it - do it with your eyes closed!

Single leg balance on wobble board

These last two exercises are the most advanced ankle stability exercises you can do (almost). The process is the same as above. Stand on one leg on the wobble board until you can do it comfortably for a minute, and then repeat but with your eyes closed.

Congratulations! You have completed a full ankle stability program and your foundation has never been stronger. If you want to make it more difficult then you can start doing one legged squats on the wobble board. Thats pretty crazy and not really necessary for most of us. Other more advanced exercises begin to involve a lot of knee stability exercises, something beyond the remit of this page but interesting nonetheless. Things such as jogging and running with changes of direction and so on.

Before you move onto that stuff though you need to make sure that you have completed all four aspects of the ankle rehabilitation and training. If you need remind then these are of course:

Advanced ankle stability and agility exercises

If you feel like you've regained your lost ankle stability and are ready for more advanced ankle stability and agility exercises then check out the latter part of our you tube video below.

We hope you enjoyed these exercises, for more information return to the Osteo Fitness Collective homepage