Your ankles are under a lot of pressure when you run, so do these ankle stretches to prevent pain and injury.
Runners often focus on their quads, calves and hamstrings because of the obvious strength required from them during runs. But the ankles are equally important because they are the joints that connect your feet to your legs, while supporting your body.
As ankles are commonly injured and sprained, it is important to stretch and strengthen them to avoid running-related complications.
Turning your ankles in circles helps not just to stretch them, but also increase mobility. Being able to rotate and turn in different angles means that your ankles can provide stable support when you run and if you lose your balance.
(Also read: 4 Fantastic Hamstring Exercises for Runners)
Side ankle stretch
It is important not to forget the outer sides of your ankles because they are connected to the tendons and muscles on the side of your foot. Stretching them well can help to prevent cramps and injury.
The top of your feet and the front of your ankles are not stretched often as people think it is mainly the soles of your feet that are tired after running. However, the areas on top are also stiff due to the a lack of movement and stretching.
This isn’t an intense stretch, but it is essential as stretching the back of your foot and ankle helps to release tension in your Achilles tendon. Pain in the tendon is usually caused by stiffness or poor running form. The tendon is strong but not flexible, so it is important to do regular stretching to ensure that it does not get torn or worn out over time.