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Exercises to Do While Your Ankle Heals

If you are experiencing an ankle injury, you must take the time for it to properly heal. While you are trying to stay off your ankle, you might be going crazy not doing anything. Luckily, we have some exercises that you can safely do while your ankle is healing. 

Of course, always check with our foot doctor in Scottsdale, AZ before doing any physical activity as every ankle injury is different. As always, listen to your body and only do what feels right. Slow and steady wins the race!

swimming Healing Ankle

Ask Your Scottsdale Foot Doctor About Cycling

Did you know that cycling on a stationary bike is a great exercise and actually great physical therapy for an ankle sprain?

We recommend starting out light, only about 10 to 20 minutes a day at first. This will help get your ankle moving. If you are an avid runner, cycling is an easy way to use different muscles in your legs. 

Cycling can help increase your ankle’s range of motion and can easily be done at your own pace. By getting your heart rate up, cycling is also a form of cardio you can do without risking additional injury to a healing ankle. Remember to always wear correct shoes and a brace if needed. 

Go Swimming with Approval from Your Foot Doctor

Swimming is an excellent form of physical therapy and also a form of physical activity that shouldn’t hurt your ankle. 

If you are able to go swimming for about 20 minutes each day, it is highly recommended. Never overdo it, but a light water workout can help relieve any tension and pain in your healing ankle. Swimming will also help you get ready to return to running when your ankle heals. 

Start off by doing foot circles in the water, then work your way up to more intense swimming exercises such as laps. 

Change Up Your Workout with Rowing

Rowing is such an underrated workout, but it really is an excellent form of cardio. Rowing doesn’t put any additional pressure on an injured ankle, mainly because you are focusing on using your arms so much. It might feel a little weird at first, especially if you are used to running or other physical activity that primarily uses your legs. However, rowing is definitely worth trying. 

Not able to get to the gym to use their rowing machine? If you are near a lake, try kayaking as it is another form of physical activity that limits your ankle use. Plus, it is always a bonus to get out in nature!

Tips from a Foot Doctor for Exercising on a Healing Ankle

When suffering from an ankle sprain or ankle injury, get plenty of rest, apply ice, elevate your ankle, and stick to limited activity. The most important thing is to listen to your foot doctor AND your body. 

Once you do get approval from your foot doctor that it is OK to start light activity, always start out slow. Never overdo it and don’t get frustrated. Be patient with your body. It will take time, but your ankle can be stronger than ever if you take the time to have it properly heal.


Dr. Kris Dinucci