a couple of years ago

Ankle circles – balance & mobility exercise (exercise video)

This is such a great exercise to do. Apart from anything else, it just feels good! 

You can do this anytime and anywhere. We do it as part of the warm-up in our Strong Foundations classes. I know people who do it before they get out of bed in the morning. 


Doing this exercise will help to increase the range of motion in your ankles.

What this means is that you are able to flex, extend and rotate your ankles further and more easily.

This is important because our ankles are the first joints we use when we are standing still and want to maintain our balance. The more movement we have around the ankle joint, the more they can help us to stay upright. 

Doing any sort of mobility exercise around the joints helps to keep the joints healthy. Every time you move a joint, it stimulates additional lubrication and blood flow to that joint. This allows it to move more easily and with less pain in the future. 

Don't worry if you hear a bit of crunching as you do the circles or it feels a bit achy. Take a break or ease off if you feel acute pain though.

You can do this sitting down if you need to. However, we recommend standing up, as you will get additional stability and strength benefits through the standing leg. 

As you will be standing on one leg for this exercise, please stand next to a support (eg. chair or kitchen worktop). You might not need it, but it's good to have something to hold onto in case you feel unsteady. 

When you do this video, think about:

  • Standing up tall 
  • Imagine your big toe is a paintbrush, and you are trying to paint the biggest circle you can
  • Circle each foot in both directions
  • Swap feet as you need to if your standing leg gets tired

If you enjoyed this video, you might also want to try:

Hip Mobility Exercise (quick win video)

Ankle Strength & Balance Foundation (Level 1) routine

Move More Easily video 1

How do you feel after doing this exercise, and how do you hope it will help you?

Join the conversation in the comments below!

All material in this article and video is provided for information and educational purposes only. It is not advice and should not be relied on as such. Always consult an exercise or health professional if you have any health issues and need personalised advice. With this in mind, we hope you enjoy reading our articles and watching our videos.


    Written by Claudine Aherne - Specialist Exercise Instructor, Vida Wellness