The key to unlocking your squat
The squat is a key movement in day to day life as well as most athletic and weightlifting endeavors. Getting up from a chair, a lineman coming out of his stance, and all the olympic lifting movements require the squat. While many of us focus on stretching the quads or opening up the hips through banded mobs and pigeon stretch, the real key is at the ankle. If you don't have enough ankle motion all the mobility in the world at the hips will not fix the issue. In the picture below you can see the set up for a quick and easy test to see if you have enough ankle motion.
Get down into a lunge position and put your hand against the wall like in the photo shown above. Then move your toes to the end of your fist.
From here try to press your knee directly towards the wall making sure your ankle stays planted and your knee stays in line with your toes. If you can't get to the wall without compensating you may be missing the necessary motion to hit a full squat! Now from here there could be two issues causing the limitations. You may have tightness in your calf, a limitation in your joint, or a combination of the two.
Here are two of our favorite ways to free up the ankles and make sure you can hit a full squat while preventing any knee, ankle, or hip pain from showing up.
We also suggest foam rolling on your calf for 45-60 seconds and each side. Now one of the most important part, retest! See if you made any changes using the original test. If you still seem to be lacking motion stop on by for a free consult so we can help you gain the mobility you need and prevent any injuries in the future.
Cheers to happy squatting!