Everybody is chasing the perfect squat and pushing the limits of just how much weight they can move. The reality of the squat is that it is not just for power-lifters, it’s a foundational movement that is as simple as sitting down and getting up from the toilet seat!
In this episode we focus on ankle mobility and its role in the squat. If there was ever a joint to focus on when it comes to the squat – this is the one. Our modern day lifestyles have forced us into high heels, thick shoes and chairs (lots and lots of chairs!). Over time, we have inadvertently tightened up our heel cords and decreased our ankle flexibility.
When we squat, your knees must translate forwards over our toes in order to keep your centre of mass from toppling over. If this range is limited, you’ll run out of room, lose your balance and/or fold your upper back forwards to keep balanced. Have you ever wondered by power-lifters where “lifting shoes” with a great big heel – this is why! These can be great “workarounds” or part time solutions but at the end of the day when it comes to your ankle flexibility – mobility is key!
Often, we’ll see the knee fall in towards midline, or people feel “stuck” unable to get lower in their squat position. In this episode we review some tests you can do to see if your ankle may be one of your limiting factors. If you pass these tests, there is a good chance your squat may be hindered by another area of the body. Make your way through the rest of The Squat Series to tackle each joint individually and find out what is limiting you.
About the Squat Series?
The Squat Series is our attempt simplify this complex movement into a joint by joint approach. We provide you with a test for each joint, followed by some remedies for that specific issue.
Featuring Mitch Starkman, Physiotherapist
If in doubt, it is always a good idea to get assessed by your healthcare practitioner so you can truly Move Like You Mean It!