I wrestled for five years and sprained both my ankles pretty badly. I think I have some scar tissue in there and it feels as though sometimes my ankles will tighten up. I also have a theory that it's affecting my calf flexibility and possibly my patellar tendons. Any good ways to stretch one's ankles out?
aside from regualr calf stretches etc to address the problems you said you had. My football coach back in the day had those of us with that bhad ankle probs regularly walk on the side of our feet. Sounds crazy and its a bitch at first but before long really streched that ankle out. I could./can walk/stand fully on the side of my foot and havent had an ankle sprain or strain in any way since.
maybe worth a try, start slow just standing on the sides might even have to hold some of the weight off it at first.
Wouldn't stretching your ankles to the side make the ligaments more lax/weak and prone to injury? ...A PT told me not to do that sort of stretch once when I spraigned my ankle a couple years ago...
Some self myofascial release on your peroneals etc.. using a foam roller (or stick) would help. Also doing some dynamic balancing tasks to improve the proprioceptive qualities of the ankle would also help you out.
Phil's old school football coach was kind of onto something... Having to move while on a limited surface area of the foot makes balancing more difficult. Heel walks, where you basically walk along, even changing direction, with your heels never touching the ground are an exercise you can do. Ankle sprains are actually a legit reason to do some bosu, balance board type stuff. The balancing required helps improve the coordination and rate of firing of the various ankle musculatur to keep you balanced.
For the calves, you can let your heel hang off the edge of step one foot at a time, keeping only the ball of your foot on the step. Lean your body forwards and do some with a slight knee bend.
As far as stretching ligaments...DON'T!
They don't regain their elasticity.