Early Stage Ankle Exercises

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Early Stage Ankle Exercises

Early Stage Ankle Exercises

Prolonged rest of the ankle after a lateral sprain is no longer the preferred rehabilitation technique. Optimal loading of the ankle is now encouraged to promote the healing process. Optimal loading refers to performing the right types of exercises at the correct intensity. This will aid recovery or maintain range of motion, strength and proprioception.

Ankle sprains are graded from 1 to 3. Grade 1 sprain is a mild sprain that may require a 2-4 week period of recovery and often involves one ligament. A grade 2 sprain is a moderate sprain that may require a 4-8 week period of recovery and usually involved two ligaments. Finally, a grade 3 sprain is a severe sprain with a full ligament tear which will be a 12 or more weeks recovery.



Dorsiflexion – pull your toe up towards your shin

Plantarflexion – point your toe down to the ground

Inversion – bringing your foot inwards towards your opposite ankle

Eversion – moving your foot away from your opposite ankle

Using a resistance band for these four exercises will increase the difficulty.

Ankle circles – slowly move your toe in a circular motion



Calf raise – keep your legs and back straight and stand up onto your toes with control, and slowly back down again

Soleus raise – same movement as the calf raise except bend your knees to 90 degrees. Make sure your whole body rises with your feet



Single leg balance – stand on one leg and balance for as long as possible. You can make this harder by standing on something soft like a cushion or pillow. Closing your eyes will make it even more difficult.

Tandem walking – taking small steps with your heel and toe touching as your walk

Heel & toe walking – take a few steps with only your heels touching the ground. turn around and repeat but walking up on your toes


If you have recently sprained your ankle, or would like more information on how to return to activity, don’t hesitate to book in and speak to a fully qualified Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist at Pivotal Motion. Call us on 07 3352 5116 or book online today!

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