Ankle Stretches

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Flexibility (Joints) > Ankle Stretches

The following ankle stretches are designed to restore movement to the ankle and improve flexibility of muscles crossing the ankle. If you are injured, you should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should be performed 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain:


Ankle Stretches – Basic Exercises

Foot and Ankle Up and Down

Move your foot and ankle up and down as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 1). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Ankle Flexibility Exercises - Foot and Ankle Up and Down

Figure 1 – Foot and Ankle  Up and Down

Foot and Ankle In and Out

Move your foot and ankle in and out as far as you can go without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 2). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Ankle Stretches -Inversion Eversion exercise

Figure 2 – Foot and Ankle In and Out

Foot and Ankle Circles

Move your foot and ankle in a circle as large as possible and comfortable without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 3). Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Ankle Flexibility Exercises - Foot and Ankle Circles

Figure 3 – Foot and Ankle Circles


Ankle Stretches – Intermediate Exercises

Alphabet Writing A-Z

Use your foot and ankle movements to draw the alphabet from A – Z . Use movements as large as possible without pain and provided  you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch (figure 4). Repeat with lower case letters.

Ankle Stretches - Alphabet Writing

Figure 4 – Alphabet Writing A – Z

Dorsiflexion Stretch with Towel

Begin this exercise in long sitting with your leg to be stretched in front of you. Your knee and back should be straight and a towel or rigid band placed around your foot as demonstrated (figure 5). Using your foot, ankle and the towel, bring your toes towards your head until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf, Achilles tendon or leg. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch provided the exercise is pain free.

Ankle Stretches - Dorsiflexion Stretch with Towel

Figure 5 – Dorsiflexion Stretch with Towel


Advanced Exercises

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Less Common Exercises

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Other Ankle Exercises

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