Advanced Ankle Stability

Key notes

  • Type of exercise: Balance and co-ordination.
  • Muscles used: Gastrocnemius and soleus.
  • Good for: Developing balance and co-ordination and dorsiflexion range of motion
  • When to use during rehab: Middle to end

Equipment options

If you’re doing this exercise with a patient in clinic, it’s best to use an exercise step. If the patient doesn’t have one of these at home, they can use any regular step instead.


  1. Start by having your patient stand on the step with one leg, while the other hangs free.
  2. Have them squat down until the leg that is hanging free touches the floor, before returning to their original stance.
  3. It should take around 2-3 for the patient to touch their leg to the floor and another 2-3 seconds for them to stand back up.

Escalating Difficulty

If you want to make the exercise more difficult, you can increase the height of the step. You can also make the movement itself more complex, by placing a number of markers on the floor, which get increasingly further away from the patient. The exercise should then be repeated, with the patient touching their foot to each marker.

The markers can also be placed in different patterns to make the exercise more complex.

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