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Old 02-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Kurt Southworth
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Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

My flexibility is really restricting my ability to squat deep. I want to begin olympic weightlifting but I cant safely do that yet because of my flexibility problems. Most of my tight spots I've been able to fix on my own with the help of MobilityWOD exercises, but I just cant seem to do anything to improve my ankle mobility. When I squat, I dont make it very far down before my knees cant budge forward without my heel coming off the ground, but if I place something under my heels or if I just allow my heels to come off the ground, I can go all the way down without any problems.

My approach to fixing my mobility has mostly just been dorsiflexion stretches such as leaning into a wall with straight/bent knees and I've also done a lot of foam rolling/lacrosse balling. I also ordered a voodoo compression band that i'm looking forward to using. The thing is though, I'm starting to think theres more to my problem than just dorsiflexion.

I've attached 3 pictures of my feet when I squat all the way down and I allow my heels to come off the ground. What happens is all my weight ends up on the bone right below my pinky toe, and my heel gets twisted inwards so that in a sense, my achilles is pointing really diagonal instead of close to straight up and down. I have this issue in both my feet but it's definitely more evident in my right foot. Its really getting frustrating that I havent been able to fix this problem yet, and if you guys have any suggestions as to how to improve my dorsiflexion or what else might be causing my lack of ankle ROM that would just be great.

Thanks guys
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Last edited by Kurt Southworth : 02-14-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
Kurt Southworth
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Re: Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

I'm also starting to think my problem has to do with ankle eversion.

When My I bring my knee inward, I can evert my ankle fine. But when I bring my knee out, like outside my ankle where It would be during a squat, I can barely evert my ankle at all and maybe that has to do with why my weight ends up so far on the outside of my foot
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
Brad Allen Jones
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Re: Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwLM5n-rYmA (WFS)

Skip to 2:00

Do those every day.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
Andrew Wiemken
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Re: Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Allen Jones View Post

Do those every day.
Exactly. Any interventions having to do with the calves/ankles/achilles, from mobility to hypertrophy, are gonna have to be hit with *super high frequency and diligence*, so don't get discouraged if the joint doesn't loosen up as fast as others. Such a heavily abused joint relatively speaking, so it's super tough and tight and responds very slowly. Extreme persistence will pay off. Definitely check out MobilityWOD. You got it bro
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:18 PM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

Those pictures are not good enough to diagnose a condition of insufficient ankle flexibility.

There is a Law Of Mobility that is irrefutable:
In a multi-joint movement when one joint lacks sufficient flexibility another joint MUST make up the difference.

There is a corollary to this law:
When one joint lacks sufficient flexibility it is often another joint that pays the price (or takes the blame.)

Just because the heels come up during the squat that doesn't mean the ankles have insufficient flexibility for normal squatting. The hips could EASILY be the culprit, with the ankles having to make up the difference and taking the blame.

Here's one test:
http://www.gryphon-sc.com/Images/Ank...bilityTest.jpg
(Link is work family safe.)
If you can get the knee past the yellow line, you PROBABLY have sufficient ankle flexibility for a decent squat. If you can get the knee to the blue line you CERTAINLY have enough ankle flexibility for a deep squat.

Note in my avatar that my knees have not crossed what would be the yellow line. Note that my thighs are WELL below parallel. Also note that I have a surgically repaired left ankle with somewhat limited flexibility that does not limit my squatting one bit.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
Kurt Southworth
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Re: Squat Depth Ankle Mobility

Thanks guys. I definitely will try that Cal Strength stretch out the next time I get to the gym. In the meantime, I feel pretty damn clever because I managed to rig something similar in my room using a dowel rod and throwing a couple dumbells in a cooler haha.

And to Lincoln, I feel pretty confident my ankles are my limiting factor. I'd say the best I can do on the test you gave me is getting my knee over the base of my toes.
When I squat down and allow my heels to come up, I can get my knees pretty wide. When I'm on my back and I bring my knee perpendicular to the floor, and then I internally/externally rotate, my mobility seems fine with those as well. What else would be a sign of me having bad hip mobility?

Another reason why I feel like my ankles are my limiting factor is because I have almost zero chance at doing a pistol. Here's a MobilityWOD mentioning ankles vs hips and pistols.
http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/08/s...s-or-hips.html
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