Superior Athletic Ankles & Feet (Strength, Mobility, Stability, Power)

April 1, 2024 by VAHVA Fitness

How to develop maximally springy, agile and powerful feet and ankles. Without strong feet, your athletic ability will always be limited.

When it comes to most team sports such as football, basketball or tennis, most sports happen on your feet.

The same goes for all striking martial arts whether it's traditional karate, kung fu or modern boxing / MMA.

In these sports and arts, a large portion of your speed, agility and power will be generated by your feet. In other words, strong ankles equals speed and power.

Especially when it comes to speed and agility, the strength and especially stability of your feet play a major role. Just like you should develop your hips and legs, you also should work on your feet.

Get Rid of Your Shoes & Fix Your Feet

The reality is that I (Samuli) always had strong legs and I was quickly able to squat and deadlift pretty heavy. Yet, I had never been the most agile guy out there.

Most of my life I have been hamstring dominant. This is because I had worn sneakers since childhood and my running style was done with the "heel striking technique" where the heel hits first the ground. 

I'm not some rare exception here, rather research suggests that 90% of people use this technique. Eero on the other hand was an actual exception: he has the forefoot strike technique which is why his quads, calves and feet were naturally well developed.

I don't think the heel strike technique in running (or even walking?) is natural because it has a lot to do with the shoes you are wearing. 

In order to strengthen your feet and ankles, the first step should be to get rid of traditional sneakers with heavy padding and get barefoot shoes with thin soles instead.

The barefoot shoes won't necessarily be comfortable at first but the feet will adapt in a week or two. After that the feet and calves will strengthen almost by themselves as long as you keep running with the correct technique (midfoot or forefoot strike).

We use the shoes from Leguano. We are not affiliated with them, the shoes just have been excellent and comfortable to wear. Eero has worn barefoot shoes for 10 years even when it was difficult to find barefoot shoes in the market.

In addition to this, there's a lot of things you should do to fix and strengthen your ankles & feet.

How to Strengthen the Ankles & Feet

Once you have fixed the shoes, there are several phases you should take your ankles and feet through. 

Here are the steps we recommend:

  • Mobility – It's crucial to move the feet and ankles in all of their natural joint articulations. This step alone should get rid of most pain and issues in the area.
  • Strength – Mobility and range of motion are necessary but in addition to this the muscles need to be under considerable resistance to fully develop. 
  • Stability & isometrics – If your feet and ankles are in a bad shape, isometrics will strengthen them the most. Increased stability will directly translate into actual speed & agility.
  • Power – Once you have good levels of mobility, strength and stability, it's time to develop power so you can have even more speed, agility and force in your movements.

Earlier, Eero already uploaded a video demonstrating how to develop the Soleus – a calf muscle that is often neglected. But that's just one exercise out of many that should be used.

The full step-by-step solution to developing and fixing your feet is now added to Athlete 20XX Method for no additional cost. The benefits for many people will be worth the price of the program alone.

Superior Athletic Ankles & Feet course is a 1-hour course with videos and tutorials for each step mentioned above.

In addition, there are 2 full routines (video & text): one standard routine (from beginner to advanced) and one athletic routine (from intermediate to advanced).

The goal of this new course is not only to fix your feet but to also take your ankles & feet from a "good" level to your maximal level.

The benefits? Massive improvements in speed, agility and power in all sports and activities where you are standing up.

I have worked on this material for over 3 months and I move like I have never moved before. My running feels different.. Even our MMA coach Nordine Taleb mentioned I move better and we actually learned some of the isometric drills from him.

The reason why I even started taking this more seriously was because he pointed out that I should be faster and more agile, especially considering my fighting style. And you know us: when we find a rabbit hole, we go deep!

So there you have it. A massive improvement done to Athlete 20XX Method. The program already had great exercises for the ankles (Phase 2 - Stability and Phase 3 - Power) but now the material is next level.

Stay strong.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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