Okay, hands up who has excitedly put on their new 8-inch heels, ready to strut their stuff… stood up, had their ankle buckle and end up plummeting to the floor?!
Yep, heels aren’t easy and they demand strong, stable ankles to handle the challenge without landing a sprained ankle.
The Ankle is a hinge joint that allows you to point and flex your feet, but has additional articulations that allow you to move it in multiple directions.
This movement is created and supported by muscles, including:
Although we’re always aiming to point our toes for those gorgeous lines – your ankle is actually most unstable in the pointed position, relying predominantly on ligaments alone for support. For this reason, it’s important the muscles surrounding the joint are strong to help keep the joint stable and supported for when you’re attempting fast movement, change of direction and strutting your stuff both bare foot and in heels.
For a strong ankle you need good muscle control, balance and proprioception. Proprioception is your body’s awareness of where it is in space, which allows it to adjust, activate and move efficiently.
To help avoid ankle sprains and injury, these exercises can help build strong, sturdy ankles you can trust to hold you. I recommend using an exercise band for resistance (often at the studio, or can be purchased at Kmart or Rebel sport).
Balance & Proprioception
There are plenty of other exercises for building strong, stable and trustworthy ankles that won’t buckle when you want to wear those new heels!
Just remember, as beautiful as the shoes are – you’ve got to earn them – do the work now to ensure you can dance in them for years to come. 🙂