5 Ways to Strengthen Weak Ankles

3. Dorsiflexion Stretch

It's a big word, but dorsiflexion simply means bringing your toes closer to your shin. This stretch will help protect the muscles and tendons in your ankle.

Sit on the floor with your right leg straight, the left crossed in front of you. The sole of your left foot should rest against the inside of your right leg. Place a towel or band around the ball of the right foot and gently pull your toes back toward you.

You'll feel the stretch in your thigh, calf, and Achilles tendon, says Xavier. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat the stretch 4 times, then switch legs.

"This shouldn't feel painful," Xavier warns. "It should be a mild to moderate stretch."

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4. Write the Alphabet

Tracing out the alphabet with your big toe is a challenging strength exercise for your ankle, says Xavier. Seated in a chair, hold your right leg straight out in front. Using your big toe as the "pen," write the alphabet in all capital letters first, then repeat the process with lower case letters; switch feet and repeat.

More: Easy Yoga Poses to Stretch Out Stiff Ankles

5. Achilles Stretches

Page warns that age-related changes in the Achilles tendon can raise the risk of rupturing this big tendon at the back of your ankle. By doing regular Achilles stretches, you can improve its flexibility.

From a standing position, step back with one leg, keeping that back leg straight (grounding the heel), and pushing the hips forward while bending the knee of the front leg at about a 45 degree angle. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch legs; repeat 2 to 4 sets on each leg.

More: How to Prevent an Achilles Injury

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Prevention

For 60 years, Prevention has delivered the kind of authoritative information, breaking news and energizing lifestyle advice that women can use today for a happier, healthier, stronger life tomorrow and beyond. With Prevention, she continuously discovers health, beauty, fitness and nutrition advice that makes her more inspired, more confident than ever before.
For 60 years, Prevention has delivered the kind of authoritative information, breaking news and energizing lifestyle advice that women can use today for a happier, healthier, stronger life tomorrow and beyond. With Prevention, she continuously discovers health, beauty, fitness and nutrition advice that makes her more inspired, more confident than ever before.

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