What to do if your ankle is too stiff? A few tricks to improve flexibility

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Most of us are more or less concerned about the health of our shoulders, necks, knees, abdomens, legs, etc., but seldom pay attention to an important part of our body that affects our walking and movement – the ankle joint.

01Understanding the Ankle

The ankle joint, also known as the talocalcaneal joint, is located at the junction of the lower leg and foot, and consists of the inner ankle made up of the tibia of the lower leg, the outer ankle made up of the fibula, and the talocalcaneal talus, which is an important weight-bearing joint in the human body. Its main function is to stabilize weight bearing and flexible movement.


If you have poor ankle mobility, especially in dorsiflexion, which is the ability to move the foot toward the tibia, it can lead to faulty form of movement and increase your risk of injury during exercise.

02Is your ankle flexibility up to par?

How do you know if you have poor ankle mobility? Try these methods:

Do air squats. See how often your heels leave the ground when you do this.

Stand straight with your feet together. See if you can lift your feet off the ground without moving your body.

Half-kneeling dorsiflexion test: take off your shoes, kneel on the ground with one knee, place your front foot 5 inches from the wall, lean forward and try to bring your front knee to the wall without lifting your heel off the ground, if you can touch the wall then ankle flexibility is considered to be up to standard.

03How to rescue an ankle injury in an emergency

Ankle injuries occur when the ankle joint is stiff, excessive improper movement occurs, and those ligaments that support the joint stability of the ankle are torn. When this happens, the following methods are recommended for emergency relief.

Rest: Stop walking, rest still and do not move the ankle easily to prevent secondary injury.


Cold compress: Fix an ice pack on the injured part, apply cold compress for 10-20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, and then continue to do so repeatedly for 2 hours.


Fixation: use elastic bandage or elastic clothing, appropriate pressure bandage to reduce swelling, pay attention to the strength, if excessive pressure will aggravate swelling, ischemia.

Elevation: Put a soft pad under the injured foot and elevate the foot to help promote blood circulation in the foot and leg, reduce swelling and promote recovery.


Rescue: take some medicines to activate blood circulation and remove blood stasis, you can also buy some topical medicines or sprays, etc. After the on-site treatment, you need to go to a regular hospital as soon as possible, take X-ray examination to exclude ankle fracture, and perform ankle MRI examination if necessary!

04How to Improve Ankle Flexibility

Whether you have very good or poor ankle flexibility, it is important to keep your ankle joints functioning in order to minimize your risk of injury while exercising. If you have good ankle flexibility, then you only need to do one set of ankle exercises per week to maintain it. However, if your ankle flexibility is not up to par, then you need to do ankle exercises twice a week.


Fascia Ball Release Calf


Movement Summary: Place the calf on a foam shaft. Roll up and down the entire length of your calf and Achilles tendon for 1 minute. If you hit a sensitive spot (trigger point), pause and focus on that area for 10-20 seconds. You can incorporate active movements into your rolling, such as actively dorsiflexing your foot or doing ankle turns.


Elastic Band Stretches


Movement: Place one section of the elastic band over some stationary object and the other over the back of your foot, lifting your foot to the side.

Elastic Band Double Foot Turnover

Action: Put the elastic band on the outside of the feet, heel on the ground toes up, like the outside of the flip to increase ankle flexibility.

These methods are not simple and easy to do? Hurry up and practice it~!

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