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3 exercises to improve ankle stability

Ankle instability is commonly experienced by many people. Whether you're on the sidewalk, on a trail, or in your house, it's important to improve balance and stability from the ground up.

Ankle stability can be improved through incorporating full range of motion exercises involving the surrounding muscles with strength and balance training. Think: feet, calves, and shins.

First things first, I'd recommend either ditching your shoes to be barefoot or investing in wide toe box shoes. Not wide shoes (unless you need or prefer wide), but wide toe box shoes. Being barefoot or having wide toe box shoes will allow your toes to spread out and have full contact with the floor. It's going to be easier to balance with a wider base than it is with your toes crammed into a narrow toed shoe, right? Right. Here is an example of a wide toe box shoe.

Now for the exercises.

In the video below, I discuss three exercises to include in your program.

1. Single-leg deadlifts

2. Calf raises

3. Step-ups

Now you might be thinking, "But Katharine, you said feet, calves, and shins, but those work the hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves?!" You're right, AND single-leg deadlifts require stability from the ankle through the shins and feet. Calf raises involve stability from the feet and the use of the calves. And, step-ups require stability from the feet, calves, and shins.

These are going to be the most accessible exercises you can do to improve your ankle stability, as they can be done both with or without weight.

Watch the video below for three exercise demonstrations for improving balance and stability.


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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