Improve Ankle Mobility

August 21, 2010 Updated: March 4, 2016

Get into the downward-facing dog position before doing a yoga-style dynamic stretch. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Get into the downward-facing dog position before doing a yoga-style dynamic stretch. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)


In cultures around the world, people often squat to work and rest. For centuries, women have found that squatting is a more effective position to deliver a baby.

Workers have found squatting to be more effective when doing hard labor in the fields. One will often find Asians squatting to eat or rest when there are no chairs around.

Compare a person squatting with the heals grounded on the floor to a person squatting with the weight shifted forward onto the toes, and you’ll find that the person with weight equally distributed throughout the feet will be much more stable in that position. 

Unfortunately, many people suffer from tight Achilles tendons. They may not notice it until one day their heels have pain from plantar fasciitis or perhaps they have begun a workout program and notice that they are not very good at squatting without raising their heels off the floor.

Stretching and working on squatting in a low squat every day will help improve ankle mobility, help prevent injury and pain, and improve strength. The following exercises are for increasing mobility.

Static Calf Stretch

Stand facing a wall. Place hands on wall for balance and slide or step the right foot back into a very short or modified lunge position. Bend the left knee and reach through the right heel toward the floor until you feel the calf muscle stretching. Hold this stretch for 20 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Static Achilles Tendon Stretch

Bring the back leg in a little closer to the front leg, and with the weight shifted forward, bend the back knee. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds on each side.

Yoga-Style Dynamic Stretch

Go into a downward-facing dog position and hold the position for five deep breaths (See When ready, bend the right knee on an exhalation. This will deepen the stretch on the left side. Switch every two to three seconds. Repeat 10 to 20 times.


Get into the downward-facing dog position. Slowly bend the right knee and step the right foot about three inches forward, then extend the knee. Repeat on each side until you have walked your feet close to your hands. Walk your hands back out to another downward-facing dog position and slowly walk the feet in again. Repeat this movement eight times.

Myofascial Release

Place your calf muscles on a foam roller or tennis ball and roll out the kinks. By kneading out the knots, one’s ankles and calves will become more flexible.