Some good exercises to strengthen the ankle include fixed object holds, resistance band stretching, pillow balancing and general exercise programs, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and Harvard Medical School. People who have arthritis or who have recently injured their ankle often need rehabilitative exercises to help strengthen the ankle and increase mobility.
Fixed object holds involve placing the ankle against a fixed object in a downward position while pointing inward and then placing the ankle against a fixed object in an upward position while pointing outward. Each position should be held for 10 seconds, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
Another exercise involves standing on a pillow with the leg that holds the affected ankle while keeping the other leg bent at the knee. Standing on the one leg will place more pressure and stress on the leg and the ankle. Standing on the pillow will force the ankle to stabilize itself through balancing, notes the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
Another exercise involves the resistance band. In this exercise, patients place the resistance band against the forefront of the foot on the footpad. Then the patient pushes his or her ankle against the resistance band going down as far as possible. This stretches the calf and the ankle.
Standard exercise programs such as swimming and walking are also great when it comes to strengthening the ankle and the bones in the body. There is a common misconception that exercise can cause more problems for people with arthritis, but research shows that exercise such as strength training, aquatic work and balance therapy can help to ease pain and increase the arthritic ankle's functioning, reports Harvard Medical School.