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Ankle Resistance Band Exercises: 10 Moves Worth Trying

It’s no secret that there are several strength workouts you can use to build and tone muscles all over your body. However, with such a wide variety to choose from, how do you know the best workout to use for a specific purpose? Well, that’s why we’re here. Resistance band workouts are some of the best ways to work on your lower body. Maybe you want to strengthen your ankles for several reasons– be it health or just improving your overall stability and performance, this article gives you the ten best ankle resistance band exercises worth trying.

Foot And Ankle Resistance Band Exercises

Before looking at the specific ankle strengthening exercises resistance band, there are a few things you need to know to avoid muscle injuries (1):

  • When performing these exercises, ensure that your core is always engaged to support your back.
  • Your focus should be on the right form, not the number of reps.
  • Do the workouts in a circuit. For each complete set, allow a minute rest between rounds.
  • Warm-up and cool down before and after exercising.

That being said, how do you know which resistance band to use for different workouts? Simple! The best band is the one that allows you to perform 12-15 reps while maintaining the right form. 

If your form starts breaking on the 12th rep, you should consider using a lighter band. However, if you can easily complete 15 reps, then that’s an indication you should move to the next level of resistance. Finally, if you need some extra resistance but don’t have weights to choose from, just double or triple up the bands.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top ten ankle exercises with resistance bands.

Ankle Dorsiflexion

The four way ankle resistance band exercises are Dorsiflexion, Plantarflexion, Inversion, and Eversion. Ankle dorsiflexion refers to bending your foot at the ankle such that your toes are drawn towards your shins. The normal ankle Dorsiflexion range is about 20 degrees. 

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Tie the resistance band around a steady anchor point (leg of a table or chair).
  2. Sit on the floor with the right leg stretched out. Place the left leg at a right angle to the right one.
  3. Loop the free end of the band around your right leg, just below the toes. Place your hands behind your back.
  4. Move your foot towards your head, then backward, slowly working your ankle against the resistance created in the band.
  5. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then switch to the opposite leg.

Read More: Resistance Band Chest Workout For A Muscular And Bigger Chest

Ankle Plantarflexion

Ankle Plantarflexion is the opposite of Dorsiflexion. It is performed by extending your foot so that it points down and away from the shins. When standing, your foot points to the ground as is the case, for example when tiptoeing. The normal range of motion is about 20 to 50 degrees.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Sit down on the floor with your right leg outstretched and your left leg 90 degrees to the right one.
  2. Loop the resistance band around the ball of your right foot. Hold the other end in your hands and pull the band towards your chest.
  3. Your back should remain straight, and the band should be parallel to your leg.
  4. Push your foot down against the resistance of the band.
  5. Move your foot forward back to its initial position.
  6. Do 15 to 20 reps on each leg.

Ankle Inversion

Ankle Inversion refers to the titling of the foot such that the sole faces towards the midline. Ankle Inversion with a resistance band strengthens the inner muscles of the ankle.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Sit down on the floor with your right leg outstretched and your left leg 90 degrees to the right one.
  2. Keep the sole of your right foot facing inwards (towards the center) and loop the band just below your toes.
  3. Attach the other end of the band to a strong anchor point such that the band faces the outside of your foot.
  4. Pull your ankle inward so that it is working against the resistance of the band. Hold then return to the initial position. Your knees should remain steady, so avoid rotating them inwards.
  5. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then switch ankles.

Ankle Eversion

Ankle Eversion is tilting your foot so that the sole faces away from the midline. This exercise helps strengthen the outer ankle muscles. 

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Sit down on the floor with your right leg outstretched and your left leg 90 degrees to the right one.
  2. Attached one end of the band to an anchor point at ground level.
  3. Place your right foot inside the band.
  4. Push your ankle outward so that it is working against the resistance of the band. Hold, then slowly return. Your knee should remain steady, so don’t rotate it to help complete the movement.
  5. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then switch ankles.

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Monster Walk

This variation of the master walk works the evertors of the foot. The fibularis longus, fibularis brevis, and fibularis tertius make up the evertors of the foot. These muscles are responsible for creating ankle stability and lifting the lateral part of the foot.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Loop the band around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Engage your core, slightly flex your knees, and hinge forward at your hips.
  3. Take alternating steps backward (your steps should be about 8 to 10 inches). Ensure you maintain an equal distance between your feet and tension in the resistance band.
  4. As you take the backward steps, don’t twist your hips (they should remain stable). If this happens, try taking shorter steps or switch to a lighter band.
  5. Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side.

Side-Lying Leg Lifts

This movement can be done by anyone, from beginners to pros. Once you can comfortably perform 10 to 15 reps, move to a heavier band or try other exercises, such as lateral walks with the band at the knees.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Place the band around your ankles.
  2. Lie on your side, with your legs stacked and extended. Support your weight on the lower arm.
  3. Lift your upper head as high as you can without lifting your hip, then slowly lower it. That is one rep.
  4. Repeat this movement. Ensure your upper leg stays on the same level as the lower one all through. Focus on form and not speed.
  5. Complete 12 to 15 full reps on each side.

Runner’s Extensions

This exercise works the quads, hip flexor, and transverse abdominis.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Lie flat on your back and place the resistance band around the arches of your feet.
  2. Lift your feet off the floor so that your knees and hips are flexed at 90 degrees.
  3. Your feet and knees should remain hip-width apart so that there is tension in the band.
  4. Tighten your core, then hold one leg firmly in place (anchor leg) while you extend the opposite leg.
  5. Slowly return the extended leg to its initial position. This is one rep.
  6. Do 12 to 15 reps on each side; alternate sides.

The anchor leg should remain as stable as possible since it creates tension between the band and the extended leg.

Read More: How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts?

Standing Glute Kickbacks

The primary muscles targeted are the glutes. The exercise also activates muscles in the hips, thighs, and calves. 

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Place the resistance band around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. While engaging your core, shift your weight to one leg, and with the other leg, slowly kick backward about eight inches.
  3. Return slowly and with the raised foot, lightly tap the floor just behind the planted foot. This is one rep.
  4. Complete 12 to 15 reps on each side. Perform full reps on one side before switching to the opposite side.

Focus on good form and balance. Your hips should remain stable, so avoid dipping your hips during the movement.

Single-Leg Stands

This exercise helps you build strong legs, improve flexibility and mobility.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Place the resistance band around your knees.
  2. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair. Ideally, the height of the chair or bench should be where your knees are flexed at 90 degrees when you sit or higher.
  3. Tilt your trunk slightly forward so that your chest is in front of your hips.
  4. Lift one good off the ground by about an inch.
  5. With the opposite foot firmly planted on the floor, stand up on that leg.
  6. Slowly return to the beginning position. This is one rep.
  7. Complete 12 to 15 reps on each side. You can complete all reps on one side before moving to the opposite side or alternate sides.

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One And One Quarter Squats

This squat variation is designed to strengthen your lower body

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Place the resistance band just above your knees, then stand with your feet hip-width apart. Tighten your core and put your chest upright.
  2. Squat until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. To increase difficulty, you can go lower.
  3. From the bottom of the squat, stand up a quarter of the total distance and hold, then lower once again. Think of it as a squat within the squat.
  4. Then stand up all the way to complete one rep.
  5. Do 12 to 15 reps.

The Bottom Line

Resistance bands are an affordable versatile workout tool. They can be carried anywhere and used at any time. Resistance band ankle strengthening exercises can challenge and help you build muscle strength. Remember to start slow, then gradually build up on intensity and speed.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. How to avoid exercise injuries (2020, medlineplus.gov)