Squat needs improvement? Work on that Ankle Mobility!

One of our elite cirque athletes performing lunging rehab exercises to return to the stage

Want to Improve Your Squat? Work on That Ankle Mobility!

“How do I increase the depth of my squat?”

The squat is not only an extremely effective, full-body exercise (if done correctly) but also a valuable tool in determining dysfunction (tight muscles, imbalances, compensations, etc.)

In order to squat well and pain-free several events need to occur:

On the descent (Lowering):

1.) Hips Flex

2.) Knees Flex

3.) Ankles Dorsiflex

On the Ascent (Standing back up):

1.) Hips Extend

2.) Knees Extend

3.) Ankles plantarflex

There are several muscles and muscle groups that can greatly affect your mobility in your squat. Some of the more common ones are tight hip flexors, hamstrings, and gastrocs.

For many of you reading this, you have likely already foam rolled and stretched your muscles and you may have noticed results while others are left scratching their head.

A lack of ankle mobility can also contribute to hamstring, calf, or lower back pain.

Your feet are your foundation in the squat, so it is necessary to address the mobility of the ankle, particularly dorsiflexion (think toes to shins).

Quick Test for Ankle mobility:

Shin to wall test:

-Place one foot about 4″ away from a wall.

-Assume a kneeling lunge position facing the wall

-With your front foot planted, lean forward trying to get your knee to touch the wall

Could you do this? If not you likely have ankle mobility issues!

Try This: This same test above can be used as a drill to improve your mobility in your ankles. Simply lean forward bringing your knee to the wall until you feel a stretch, then back off. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

The most effective solution to improving your ankle (and likely your hip mobility) is a combination of stretching, strengthening, active muscle trigger point, manipulation, and dry needling.

If you are experiencing pain in the back hips, knees, calves with a squat & cant go beyond 60° give us a call @9054174646 for your functional movement assessment & let us help you return to your optimum performance in sport & fitness!

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