4 Ways to Support Weak Ankles When Exercising

April 05, 2022

 Having weak ankles can make a routine workout challenging. Weak ankles can make daily activities more complex, such as getting dressed. Weak ankles can also affect your balance and coordination, making it more challenging to stay upright while working out. Fortunately, weak ankles can be supported with minor adjustments to your exercise routine.

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You need to break a challenging workout routine into smaller, more manageable segments to build ankle strength. This will reduce the risk of overtraining and help you see results faster. By working your ankles in smaller time increments, you will be more likely to continue with your ankle strengthening routine. Here are four ways you can support your ankle when exercising.


Wear The Right Footwear

One of the most important things you can do to protect your ankles is to wear proper footwear. If you're doing a high-impact workout like running, it's crucial for the ankle support on the right shoes. It's also important that you have a good pair of shoes for any exercises that will require balancing, like yoga or Pilates. When looking for shoes, ensure that they provide the appropriate ankle support and cushioning for your activity.


Use Ankle Supportive Products

Several products are available to assist with weak ankles, such as ankle braces and compression sleeves. These can be worn during your routine for additional support.


Inserts: You can purchase ankle supports or orthotics at most pharmacies and sporting goods stores. These inserts slip into the interior lining of any shoe and provide additional cushioning around your ankle and arch support.

Tape: Some people swear by this for supporting their weak ankles during exercise routines. According to some studies, taping an ankle before exercise has increased stability and balance during exercises like squats and lunges; however, other research has found no difference between taped and untaped ankles during various exercises. You should know how to tape an ankle when using this method for the right level of support.

Stability Braces: Lastly, there are braces available from physical therapists that can wrap around your foot to provide stability when exercising with weak ankles. A doctor's note may be required for this option depending on the type of brace needed.


Perform Ankle Strengthening Exercises

Perform ankle strengthening exercises to build the muscles around your ankles and improve your balance.


One of the easiest ways to support strong ankles is to perform ankle strengthening exercises. The same exercises that you would use for any muscle group (legs, back, arms) can be used to strengthen your ankles. For example, if you're currently using a leg press machine as part of your workout routine, alternate which foot you push with each time you perform the exercise or wear a weight on your weak ankle while performing the exercise. You can also perform simple stretches before and after exercising, such as bending one leg up and then slowly lowering it out in front of you while standing on one foot.


Pay Attention to Your Pain

One of the most important methods of supporting your weak ankles is paying attention to your pain. The common saying "no pain, no gain" is not always true. Remember that even though it may seem like a good idea to push through the pain and tough out an entire workout, you should be sensitive to how your ankle feels. Pain is a natural reaction to overexertion, so listening to your body is critical. If you are experiencing too much pain, it's best to stop working out and give your body time to recover.


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