Social dancing is a great way to mix it up when you’re looking for new ways to be active, have fun, and meet people. San Antonio has many different studios where you can learn swing, Latin, ballroom, and all sorts of other types of social dance. Dancing is good for the body and the mind, since it forces you to move and think about what you’re doing. It also challenges your sense of balance. Because of this, you really need to have strong ankles to support you while you spin and twirl! If you have weak ankles now, though, that’s ok. Ankle strength is something you can improve.
People have weak ankles for a variety of reasons. It might be a natural problem—you simply haven’t built up your lower limb strength. It could also be the consequences of an injury you’re recovering from. Sprains destabilize ankle joints, making your lower limbs much weaker. In either case, a little physical therapy can improve your joint stability, function, and strength.
Here are a few basic physical therapy exercises for ankles that could help you improve your joint stability:
- Balance Training – Practice standing on one foot without holding onto anything for help. Make it more challenging by standing on a pillow.
- Calf Raises – Stand with your feet apart. Lift your heels off the ground and rise up on your toes. Slowly lower to neutral and repeat multiple times.
- Alphabet Letters – Without moving your leg and using just your foot and ankle, “write” the alphabet on the floor.
- Towel Stretch – Wrap a towel around your feet. Pull back on the ends of the towel so it stretches your toes toward your shins. You should feel it in your calves.
- Heel and Toe Walking – Walk across the room on just your heels, keeping your toes off the ground. Walk back the other direction keeping your heels off the ground.