Fix Your Pain: Ankles

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Build a stronger, steadier foundation for your body with these drills.

Your feet anchor you to the ground. And your ankles play the important role of connecting your feet to the rest of your body and helping them work together for safe movement.

To do their job properly, your ankles need to be able to move up and down, side to side, and in circles.

In this Fit for Life Challenge video, fitness expert David Jack guides you through four drills that will help your ankles and feet provide a stronger, steadier foundation for your body. “There’s so much going on at the ankle,” Jack says. “Everything that happens on the ground, every direction we move in, the ankle transitions that up the body.”

As always, follow any instructions from your doctor, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. Focus on smooth, controlled motions. If any of these exercises cause pain, adjust or stop.

What You’ll Need

All you need is some safe, clear floor space next to a wall. You can also do most of these exercises on a chair or couch, if you prefer.

What You’ll Do

You’ll start with the rock and back for up-and-down movement. You’ll then do the toe pivot and heel pivot for side-to-side movement. Finally, you’ll end by drawing a word with your toes to move your ankles in a variety of directions.

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Time to Talk to Your Doc?

If you continue to experience pain, checking with your doctor can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment. To make a conversation with your doctor easier, jot down your symptoms:

  • Where you are experiencing the pain
  • When the pain started and how often it occurs
  • Any other symptoms you are experiencing

Bring these notes along with a list of all your medications to your appointment.

Did you miss yesterday’s SilverSneakers Fit for Life Challenge posts? Find them here and here. Plus, be sure to connect with us on our Facebook page.

Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.

FLEX Program