The lower legs contain several muscles that help stabilize the ankle joint. The peroneal longus and brevis are muscles that run down the lateral side of the shins. These muscles move the foot downward in a motion called plantar flexion and move the foot outward in a motion called eversion. Exercises to strengthen these muscles involve these motions and they require a few tools.
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Calf raises work the peroneals along with the gastrocnemius and soleus, which are the calf muscles. To do calf raises, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lift up onto your tip toes and hold for a full second. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat. To increase the resistance with this exercise, place a weighted barbell across the top of your shoulders or hold a set of dumbbells at your sides.
Elevated Calf Raises
Elevated calf raises work your peroneals and calves with the aid of a stair step or aerobic step. After placing the balls of your right foot on the step, place the top of your left foot across your right calf muscle. Lift up onto your tip toes and hold for a full second. Slowly lower yourself down until your heel is below the height of the step and your toes are pointing up. Hold again for a second and repeat. After doing a set of reps, switch sides. To increase the resistance, hold a dumbbell in one hand. If you lose your balance while doing this exercise, lightly place your hand on a wall or chair.
Angled Calf Raises
Angled calf raises place most of the emphasis on the peroneals and they require two weight plates. After placing the plates about shoulder-width apart from each other, position the balls of your feet on the plates with your big toes and your heels hanging over the edges. Steadily rise up onto your tip toes and feel the outside of your shins working. Slowly lower your heels down until they almost touch the floor and repeat.
The ankle eversion exercise requires an elastic exercise band. After securing one end of the band to a sofa leg, fasten the other end to your right foot and sit on the floor with your leg straight in front of you. The band should be taut at this point and the left side of your foot should be facing the sofa. Keeping your leg straight, rotate the sole of your foot outward to your right. Hold for a full second, rotate your foot back and repeat. After doing a set of reps, switch sides. You can also have an assistant grab the end of the band instead of fastening it to something.