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Strengthen Your Ankles For the Chunky Shoes of Fall

Strengthen Your Ankles For the Chunky Shoes of Fall

Free People at ShopStyle

I'm loving the sculptural look of this Fall's chunky footwear. But between the soaring heel heights and the substantial platforms, I worry that these styles might cause some nasty falls and possibly twist a few ankles too. While it's always sensible to take a break from your high heels and alternate with some fashionably sensible pairs, I say take some extra precautions and strengthen those ankles. No gal can stuff a foot wrapped in an ace bandage into her new platform Mary Janes.

These exercises will give your catwalk stride a little extra confidence and your ankles a bit more stability.

  • Walk it out: Strengthen your high heel walk sans shoes and do tiptoe walking to strengthen your ankles and calves. While you're at it, add in some heel walks to strengthen your shin muscles, which help prevent falls, and to give your overworked calves a nice little stretch to boot.
  • Bring on the wobble: Work your legs standing on a Bosu — try your basic squats and lunges on the unstable surface and feel your ankles and feet work to stabilize you.
  • Blindly balance: Challenge your sense of balance and your ankle strength with this simple move. In bare feet, stand with your right shoulder close to a wall. Lift your left foot, so you're standing on just your right foot with your right knee slightly bent. Put your right fingertips lightly on the wall next to you, then close your eyes. It's really hard to balance! All the small muscles in your foot and around your ankle will be properly challenged and learn how to stabilize a wobbly joint. Try to hold the position for at least 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat two or three times. This do-anywhere exercise makes good use of commercial breaks.

The fashion and fitness connection doesn't end at your ankles. Celeb trainer David Kirsch has some exercises to ready you for the silhouettes of the season.

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