The ankles are impressive in their ability to flex in a variety of different directions, however, most people fail to utilize this function in their day-to-day lives. Walking and running only flexes the ankles in a forward and backward direction, and most activities that require side to side movement still require us to stiffen our legs in order to achieve balance. This is why ankle circles are so beneficial: because they allow a person to fully utilize their ankles, keeping the joint flexible and loose.
Ankle Circle Process
Ankle circles can be done anywhere, from your bedroom to the gym to your office (although you’ll probably want to do ankle circles somewhere private). To start doing ankle circles, lay down on your back and put your legs in the air. Pull one knee up to your chest and lace your fingers together, resting your hands in the space behind the joint.
Point your toes at the ceiling in a ballerina pose, then slowly start to rotate the foot in a full circle. Rotate the foot without moving the leg, so that the entire rotation is taking place in the joint of the ankle. As you do this, feel the muscles of your calves and thighs pulling hard in your leg.
Make five to ten full circles, then reverse the direction of the foot and do this again five to ten times. When this is done, switch legs and do the same thing to the other foot. To pull the hamstrings tighter, do this exercise while pointing the legs straight at the ceiling.
To see this exercise in action, take a look at this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMlO0lHAbc8
Performing ankle circles loosens the muscles and tendons in the leg and the joint around the foot. Stiffness in the ankles can lead to stress in the foot and the legs, leading to knee pain, back pain, and neck pain. Over time, this can cause the body to assume compensatory postures, leading to further pain and larger overall musculoskeletal problems.
Doing ankle circles just a few times per week can help you improve flexibility, range of motion and can improve your overall comfort while walking and standing.
Ankle circles are just one of the many different types of therapeutic exercises that you can do in your spare time and in your own home. Therapeutic exercises can loosen your joints, reduce pressure on your spine and pain in your back, neck and limbs. For more information and to learn more about exercises that can benefit you, contact Choice Chiropractic. We’ll be happy to make you an an appointment.