Building Stronger Ankles are a MUST in Social Dancing

Posted by Tina Lee-Almazar on

Building Stronger Ankles are a MUST in Social Dancing

Photo Credit: Freepik

Like professional athletes, dancers need stronger ankles to maintain balance and minimize the risk of injury. And this goes for whatever dance styles you like or specialize in. The ankles can be incredibly strong but are prone to injuries. If you landed the wrong way or executing a dance move improperly, you might end up twisting the ankle, and the injury will keep you out of commission for weeks!

Thankfully, some exercises could improve ankle mobility. Ankle mobility refers to the flexibility of the ankle joints and the surrounding tendons and ligaments. When the ankles are strong, you have a greater range of motion during a performance. Your form will be better too! If the ankles are weak, you wobble all the time, and there’s a real chance of twisting an ankle if you’re not careful! 

Ankle stretching and strengthening are two essential factors that build stronger ankles. Here are some ankle workouts to try:

Exercises for Stronger Ankles

Ankle Stretches for Stronger Ankles

 

 

Ankle Pain Relief Stretches

 

Exercises for Stronger Ankles

Ankle Circles

Photo Credit: Health Line

This is one of the most basic of all ankle exercises. The workout stretches the ligaments to improve your range of motion. You can do this while sitting or lying down. 

Put a foam roller or rolled towel under your ankle and keep the leg muscles relaxed. Next, move your ankle slowly in a circle. Do 10 clockwise circles and 10 counterclockwise circles. The movement should only be limited to the foot and ankle, not the leg. 

Heel Lift

Photo Credit: Health Line

This workout strengthens the ankles and the calves. You'll only need to use your body weight for this workout. If you are up for a challenge, you can use a raised platform to perform this workout instead of standing on the floor.

Stand up straight, shoulders back, and feet shoulder-width apart. Lift the feet slowly off the floor until you are standing on the balls of your feet. Hold the position for a few seconds, then lower the heels back to the floor. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 lifts.

Ankle Flex

Photo Credit: Health Line

You'll need a resistance band to perform this workout. It engages the plantar flexion to build strength and flexibility.

Sit on the floor with one leg extended and the other bent at the knee, the heel on the floor. Loop the band around the front of the foot, then hold the other end firmly. Point the toes slowly forward, then back. Feel the tension, then release. Do 3 sets of 10 flexes on each foot.

Lunges

Photo Credit: Health Line

Lunges are the best workout for the entire lower body. It strengthens major muscle groups, improves balance, and strengthens the ankles!

Stand up straight, shoulders back, hands on the hips, and feet planted firmly on the floor. Take one step forward, with the toes facing forward, bend the knee but keep the back straight. Feel the muscle tension by holding for a second, then take a step back to the starting position. You can either work out each leg or switch in between legs. Do 2 sets of 10 times per leg.

Ankle Jump

Photo Credit: Health Line

A simple workout that trains the lower body muscles to take on more weight to build strength! 

Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Jump up straight but do not bend the knees. As you're jumping, flex the ankles, then pull up the toes. As your feet touch the floor, extend your ankles back, pushing the balls of your feet and then jumping again. Do 2 to 3 sets of 25. 

Benefits of Strong Ankles in Dancing

Better Proprioception

The brain processes the feedback it receives from sensory receptors throughout the body. These sensory receptors include the joints and muscles. With stronger ankles, you’ll become more aware of the movements you are making when you move around, preventing accidents or injuries. 

If, say, you’re dancing, and you landed the wrong way, twisting your ankles in the process, the brain becomes aware of this movement and subconsciously tries to avoid making the same mistake, so you don’t end up injuring the same area with the same misstep. Isn’t the human brain amazing? 

Better Balance

Building stronger ankles strengthen major muscle groups in the lower body, which helps boost stability while walking, running, and, you guessed it, dancing! Adding exercises that focus on ankle strengthening also lengthen the legs while reducing the risk of injury. What’s more, these workouts help give you a proper walking gait and an enviable form. 

Reduce Ankle Joints Pressure

Love wearing high heels on the dance floor? We get you, girl! But here’s the thing, unless you’re wearing Yami dance shoes, you are putting too much stress on your ankle joints when you’re dancing in high heels. 

You have to strengthen those ankles if you don’t want to suffer from high heel pains. Or, you can simply switch to Yami dance shoes. Our oh-so-comfy Latin dance shoes and social dance shoes boast strategically placed cushions that absorb peak impact with every step. The best part? The ankles feel supported because of the solidly built heels, sturdy straps, and cushioned footpads. Order a pair today and feel the Yami difference!