Ankle Mobility Exercises (Watch video!)

Ankle Mobility Exercises

If your weak or stiff ankles are impacting your walking or running gait, you may be looking for ankle mobility exercises.

In the video below, our physiotherapist Nathan will show you 3 easy treatment techniques that you can try at home.


Importance of Ankle Mobility

You may not realise, but instability and weakness in your ankles can make you more susceptible to injury or lead to issues like hip bursitis or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (aka runner’s knee).

Our ankles and feet are our foundation for many everyday movements like walking, jumping, running, and squatting. And when it comes to mobility, there are two main types: dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.

1.     Dorsiflexion refers to the movement of pulling your toes in towards your shin or knees

2.     Plantar flexion refers to the opposite movement i.e. pointing your toes.


What Causes Poor Ankle Mobility?

There are numerous causes of poor ankle mobility, such as lack of flexibility in lower leg muscles, previous ankle injury, ankle joint restriction or genetics.

Not sure if you have poor ankle mobility?

Click here for a test you can carry out quickly and easily no matter where you are.


3 Ankle Mobility Exercises

If you do have poor mobility in your ankle joints, you can improve it by carrying out some targeted exercises or visiting a physio who can determine a personalised treatment plan.

Three exercises we prescribe regularly to assist with ankle mobility include:


  1. Self-myofascial release of calf muscle
  • Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Locate the sore spots (trigger points) on your calf muscles with a small ball.
  • Use the ball to work on the trigger points or work to release them by using the foam roller.

If needed, place the other leg over the top to add some extra pressure.


  1. Kneeling Ankle Stretch
  • Get into a half-kneeling position.
  • Place your hands on top of the front bent knee.
  • Move that knee forwards so it travels over toe. Keep the heel flat on the floor during this movement.
  • To make the stretch a little more challenging, try to lift the toes off the ground and hold for ten seconds, while keeping the heel flat.
  • Repeat 3 times


  1. Step down
  • Stand up straight and keep one foot flat on the ground.
  • As if stepping down, reach the other foot as far forward as you can.
  • Ensure the knee on your supporting, stable leg is travelling over the toe.

You may wish to use poles with this exercise to assist with stability and balance.

Physio for Ankles

Would you like a trusted physio in Brisbane to create a personalised ankle mobility exercise plan for you?

We have clinics in Ashgrove, Samford and Moorooka and our team members are more than happy to help!