Last week we touched on feet. We didn't even get to ankles! There are so many parts to JUST our ankles. The ankle is so much more than just where 🎶 the leg bone connects to the foot bone🎶.
In the ankle joint we can have medial or lateral rotation. If we are standing and turn our toes out like a ballerina that is lateral rotation. If we turn the toes inward that is medial rotation.
We can also have inversion or eversion.
As well as plantarflexion and dorsiflexion.
The ligaments (elastic bands of connective tissue that connects bone to bone) in the ankle do the work of stabilizing which is a very big job! According to WebMD the most common ankle injury is an ankle sprain. A sprain occurs when the ligaments is stretched beyond its capacity. Maybe how we feel some days. Sprains can range from minor to complete tears in the ligaments. We don't sTrain our ankle as a strain refers to muscles and tendons where a sPrain refers to ligaments.
Strengthening our ligaments can help us immensely in our workouts and you know, just walking. Doing exercises on one foot can help strengthen these just make sure they're appropriate exercises (heel raises on a flat surface and moving to an unstable surface when ready). Starting on both feet and doing heel raises is definitely a great place to start as well. Doing workouts on water boards (think paddle boards or inflatable yoga boards) can help us find and strengthen our ligaments as well. Working the ankle joint in all directions in controlled environments can help build up strength as well. Ankle circles, spelling your name in the air with your toe, or going through the alphabet.
I hope you found some useful information this week. Have you ever sprained your ankle? I hope you give some of these ankle exercises a try and let me know how it goes in the comments.