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Find Your Footing: Foot and Ankle Stability

Stability through the foot and ankle is important for any of your weight bearing activities, from walking, and standing. to running and jumping. Awareness of where the foot is in space, Adequate strength of muscles of the foot and ankle, and control through the various movements of the foot/ankle all play a role in the stability of this region. Changes in any of these motor skills or parameters can cause changes in how the entire lower extremity works as a whole unit. A simple weight shifting exercise can be a great way to start your journey to ankle stability and improved balance and coordination.

  • Start with both feet on the ground about hip width distance apart.

  • Slowly start to shift your weight laterally on to one foot - as you shift be mindful of where the weight is on the foot.

  • The goal is to have weight through the center of the heel, the joint of the big toe, and the joint of the pinky toe (think about a tripod).

  • Try to maintain/hold that position for as long as feels comfortable for you - maybe even up to 60 seconds before returning to 2 feet to try the other side.

Some things to think about:

  • Try not to let the arch collapse and have too much weight through the inner part of the foot

  • Be mindful to not shift the weight too far to the outside of the foot.

  • If this feels easy you can always make it harder by adding some head turns or moving the arms!

Adrienne Gregorek, PT, DPT

Westside Dance Physical Therapy

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