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Week 43: Resisted Ankle Inversion/Eversion with Sustained Dorsiflexion




Exercise: Resisted Ankle Inversion/Eversion with Sustained Dorsiflexion


Purpose: To strengthen the ankle dorsiflexion muscles throughout their full arc of inversion and eversion motion 


What It Targets: Strengthening of the Ankle Dorsiflexors: Anterior Tibialis, Extensor Hallicus Longus, Extensor Digitorum Longus, Peroneus Brevis; Stretching of the Ankle Plantarflexors: Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Flexor Digitorum Longus, Plantaris, Tibialis Posterior, Flexor Hallicus Longus


Procedure: 

  1. Sit in a firm chair.

  2. Tie a loop resistance band in a slipknot around something sturdy (we like to use a kettlebell)

  3. Place the loop around the top of your foot. Sit far enough away so there is a fair amount of tension on the band.

  4. Keeping your heel firmly planted onto the floor, lift your foot up as high as you can with the foot parallel to the shin.

  5. Maintain tension and slowly turn your foot inward (inversion). Pause for 2 seconds at end range.

  6. Maintain tension and slowly turn your foot outward (eversion). Pause for 2 seconds at end range.

  7. Slowly bring the foot back to the floor. That’s one rep!

  8. Repeat as prescribed. 


Main Cues:

  • Maintain tension on the band throughout the entire exercise

  • You should feel muscle work in all muscles on the front side of your shin

  • Reach your toes up as high as you can

  • Do not let your knee move - motion should be isolated to the ankle/foot


Common Compensations/Adverse Effects: 

  • Heel coming up off the floor

Correction: Focus on maintaining solid heel contact the entire time; Don’t go as far into the range


  • Knee moving side to side

Correction: Keep it steady! If you can’t, you are probably moving your ankle outside of its available range. Move less! If your knee is still moving, the resistance is probably too great. Reduce the tension on the band. 


  • Pinching in the front of the ankle joint 

Correction: Don’t go as far into the range; If it still hurts, you may need to perform an ankle dorsiflexion mobilization to clear this joint restriction. See this exercise from Week 18: 3-Way Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization


Why We Love It:

  • Isolates a crucial yet often very limited movement in all forms of the motion: Ankle Dorsiflexion with Eversion and Inversion

  • Enhances likelihood of maintaining mobility gains via active motor control through the new range

  • Assists in cleaning up squat, ambulation, and stair climbing mechanics

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation. 


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