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    Best 3 Workouts To Enhance Your Ankle Strength

    As per the butterfly effect theory, a minor alteration in the present can result in a significant change later on… and that’s the extent of my grasp on chaos theory, folks. What I comprehend is that the human body functions in a similar manner. If one aspect becomes imbalanced, it typically has a cascading impact. Specifically, neglecting ankle strengthening exercises may adversely affect your hips.

    Similar to the lyrics of the song ‘Dem Bones,’ ‘the hip bone is connected to the… knee bone.’ Hence, the ankle is intricately linked all the way up to the hip,” elaborates physical therapist Karena Wu, DPT, who is the proprietor of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City and India. Due to this interconnectedness, feeble ankles can lead to difficulties for your complete lower body and result in unwarranted injuries. Dr. Wu states, “If the ankle joints lack strength, the onus shifts to the knee and hip to facilitate more movement and absorb additional forces. This causes an imbalance, thereby compelling the other joints in the kinetic chain to compensate and take on additional load.”

    This domino effect can manifest in various movement patterns, with weak ankles predominantly causing issues for individuals engaged in activities like running or sports such as tennis, soccer, beach volleyball, or any other sport necessitating frequent start and stop movements on irregular terrain. This correlation seems logical, isn’t it? Abrupt halts can potentially strain your entire lower body when you land at an awkward angle.

    Fortunately, reinforcing your ankles can greatly enhance the durability of your hips (and the entire lower body kinetic chain). Below, Airrosti physical therapist Anthony Pavlich, DPT, shares the top three ankle-strengthening workouts he suggests for everyone.

    Top 3 ankle-strengthening exercises, endorsed by a PT

    1. Monster walks

    To execute this exercise, stand with your feet at shoulder width while wearing a resistance band around your calves. Engage your core, push your hips back into a partial squatting stance. Ensure your head and chest are upright, maintaining your knees at a 120-degree angle, ensuring they remain behind your toes throughout the exercise. Push your knees outward, walk forward and backward while sustaining the squat position. Keep your feet parallel, toes facing forward.

    2. Single leg deadlift

    Position your feet shoulder-width apart, keep one foot grounded while bending at the hip to extend the opposite leg straight backward. Extend your arms forward or place them on your hips to ensure your entire posterior chain is completely straight. Lower the leg back to the ground and switch sides. For an additional challenge, hold a dumbbell in one or both hands.

    3. Split squats

    Assume a lunge stance with one leg forward and the other backward. Gradually lower yourself until your back knee touches the ground, then engage your glute muscles to lift yourself back up to a standing position. Ensure you perform an equivalent number of repetitions on each side.

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