Here at Lone Eagle Martial Arts we know that ankle strength and mobility are often neglected. And that’s terrible because these small joints carry the entire weight of your body every day and they are essential in your Martial Arts training!
Most people don’t spend dedicated time training and strengthening the ankles, and as a result, they may run into issues of stiffness, weakness, and chronic sprains.
Here are some exercises that will challenge your ankles in new and unconventional ways to make them strong and flexible
- Sissy squat
Here you’ll use the squat to really target your ankles by coming up on the balls of your feet as you squat all the way down and stand back up. Use a handhold support if needed and go slow and steady in the beginning. Add speed and intensity as you improve and get stronger.
- Duck Walk
This may be something you’ve done in elementary school P.E. But aside from that and in martial arts classes, this isn’t widely used, which is a shame because it’s a great exercise that provides good resistance through your ankles’ full range of motion in the forward/back plane.
Since this requires good knee flexibility as well, start this just one stride at a time at first and use support as needed. A rolling chair or stool is great for that!
The key to doing this exercise properly is to keep your head at the same height the entire time.
- Squat on the Sides of Your Feet
This squat variation takes the ankle through a different angle and range of motion than you generally engage in. Lifting the inner part of your feet, you’ll come on to the outsides of your feet, then squat down and stand back up.
The most common ankle sprain is rolling over the outside of your foot. Condition yourself to be stronger and more flexible in this position and you can save yourself some grief.
- Walking on the Balls of Your Feet
This is a good challenge for the arch of your foot as well as the shortened range of the calf muscles. Come up on to the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground, then simply walk forward and backward, keeping the rest of your body tall.
Walking like this is a great combination of active ankle balance and strength and pays good dividends the more you do it!
For more information, contact us at Loneeaglemartialarts.com