The Goodbye Crutches Blog

5 Exercises you can do recovering after Ankle Surgery

Posted by Tom Schwab



When people live an active lifestyle, the thought of having ankle surgery can be very discouraging. They are often concerned with the possibility of gaining weight, losing muscle and falling behind in their training. 

However, ankle surgery does not have to become a stumbling block. There are several exercises a person can participate in after having surgery. 

Aquatic Exercise

Aquatic exercise is a zero impact workout that can also help to comfort the injured foot. Along with providing an excellent cardiovascular workout, aquatic training also helps to tone legs and arms. It is a great way to maintain a person's fitness level while also assisting them with their weight loss goals.


Arm ergometers and stationary bikes both provide a good cardio workout due to continuous movement. On the stationary bike, a person who has undergone ankle surgery can easily manage the workout using only one leg to operate the bike.  Adding to the cardio benefits, these machines also work the major muscle groups.

Core Exercises

Sit-ups and crunches are a basic, yet efficient way to work the core. The addition of weights during these exercises will work both the abs and the arms simultaneously. Someone who has had ankle surgery can get an even harder core workout by doing hanging leg raises. This an excellent exercise that has zero impact on the feet.

Upper Body Strengthening

Fortunately, with a large number of upper body strengthening workouts, there is no strain on the feet whatsoever. Some exercises to consider are the dumbbell bench press, the lat pull-down and dumbbell hammer curls. For those with a stability ball, an excellent workout to try is stability ball push-ups. These not only work the arms, but they also strengthen the core. 


Pilates can either be a zero impact or low impact workout depending on the specific exercise being done. For those healing from ankle surgery, they can choose several pilates workouts to form a complete routine. With pilates, a person can get a full body workout without the injured foot ever having to touch the floor. This is an excellent technique for core strengthening, balance and flexibility.

For those people who must endure ankle surgery, they can rest assured knowing that they can continue their fitness training while they are waiting to heal. 

Topics: Ankle, Tips

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