The Anklemate Exercise Aid
One of the main risk factors for falls in the elderly is decreased lower limb strength. Whilst most muscle groups can be strengthened with resisted exercises in a straightforward manner, resisted ankle dorsiflexion exercises are difficult to prescribe because the anatomy of the foot and its position on the bottom of the body mean it is difficult to attach weights as you would for through-range quads or hip abduction in standing. Nor is it always functionally relevant to complete exercises in a long sitting posture.
The Anklemate Exercise Aid has been developed by a Scottish NHS physiotherapist to make it easy for people to do resisted ankle dorsiflexion exercises in particular, although it can be used to strengthen many different muscles groups.
It comes as a set of two wooden beams in a nylon carry-case. Each beam has three nylon cleats (hooks) on each side for attaching resistance bands of varying strength for different exercises. The legs of a chair are placed in the grooves of the Anklemate. The resistance bands are then placed on the appropriate cleats, and the patient then sit on the chair to carry out the required exercises. The boards are held in position by the weight of the person on the chair.