Installment 7 of our MOVE WELL TO MOVE OFTEN education series: ankle and knee mobility.
Installment 5 discussed the squatting mechanics in which all five of the kinetic points are engaged. Today, we’ll focus on the first two kinetic points – ankles and knees. Mobility and stability of these joints are key for proper form in several exercises and lifts – squats, lunges, box jumps, step ups, walking and running, and for any split stance or single leg movement.
If you have limited ankle mobility, most likely your knee will not move over the perpendicular plane of your toes. To test this, kneel in front of a wall or other flat surface. Place the front of your shoe about 4″-5″ from the wall. Similar to the motion in the video below, push your knee forward to see if it will touch the wall WITHOUT your heel raising. If your heel raises, you most likely have ankle mobility issues. Also notice if your knee travels in the same plane as the foot. Does your knee shift left or right out of alignment with the foot?
Performing this corrective exercise as demonstrated in the video will help increase the range of motion in both joints and improve several aspects of your lifts.