Active mobility exercises where the athlete physically moves the joint through a range of motion are often done early on.
They will help to increase movement at the joint and also pumping the ankle up and down will help reduce swelling. Exercises can be performed seated or standing. If an ankle sprain has occurred then only up and down movements should be done initially, protecting the lateral ligaments at the side. As it heals, sideways mobility and writing the alphabet with the toes may also be performed.
These active motion exercises can be performed seated to improve flexibility of the ankle after injury. Pumping the ankle up and down and writing the alphabet with the toes may also help to decrease swelling, especially if performed in an elevated position.