Ankle Mobility: Improve Your Squat Now

hi friends Kathy Madeo back with another video this one all about ankle Mobility your heels lift when you lower down into a squat and you're not sure why if your heels raise off the floor it's likely coming from limited range of motion either in your ankle joint or your hip joint when you squat down if your heels begin to raise once you move beyond that 90 degree angle with your legs then it's likely coming from your ankles now your knees passing your ankles is a very common functional movement that we use every day when we walk so why is it so hard when we're squatting well when we walk our hip joint is above our knee joint and so as we begin to lower and squat down the hips past the knee joint and that completely changes our weight-bearing load making it very difficult to keep our heels down in a squat position you can increase your ankle Mobility by stretching the soles of your feet your souls have a band of tissue that runs from the Achilles heel to the toes this is called your plantar fascia so this plantar fascia is often quite tight and that limits your Mobility when the foot is in dorsiflexion or another way of saying that is a flexed foot the good news is is you can improve your ankle Mobility with a few key exercises practice along with me in this video to increase your ankle mobility and increase your ability to do a squat in this video you'll need a wall and a set of blocks or if you're at home you can also use the stairs let's get started [Music] we'll start in a seated position you can feel free to prop yourself up you could even do these first exercises in a chair so we'll start with the left foot and I just want you to take circles with your foot so we're just warming up and lubricating the ankle joint and we'll switch directions good and then just switch your feet so you can take your right foot or the opposite foot you can kind of holding my leg here so so that I'm not taking my foot in my hand and just circling the foot and we'll switch directions the next thing we're going to do is stretch our toes so you can take your hand and you'll insert your index finger in between the big toe and the second toe and then just carry on there as you go one toe at a time and feel free to manually move those toes around and creating lots of space here so just situate your fingers in there let your toes adjust and then we can curl our toes or pointing your foot would be another way to say that curling your toes in and then we'll Flex our toes so reach the toes up towards the front of your shin or the top of your foot we'll just do that one more time now taking hold of your foot you can grab at your ankle or your shin bone we're going to take our hand onto the toes here and pull the toes back so remember your plantar fascia which tends to get very tight here runs from your Achilles heel all the way up to your toes so we're giving it a passive stretch here as we pull our toes back and then we'll go in the opposite direction so now we'll point the foot and we'll bring the toes in towards the sole of the foot so now we're stretching the tops of the foot as well and then we'll just release that and switch sides so taking hold of your left ankle or shin bone will start to bring our index finger in between the big toe and second toe and then we'll work through all of the spaces of our toes I know it feels a little awkward especially if you've never done anything like this so just let the toes kind of settle there let them feel that space and then we'll begin to point the foot curl the toes in just hold that and then we'll bring the toes back towards the top of your foot and then we'll do that one more time each round here so curling the toes towards the soles of the feet and then moving them away and so now we'll go into that dorsiflex position here with a little bit of an assist with our hands so I'm placing the palm of my hand here on my toes to the end of my toe mounds and I'm pulling those toes back and now we'll point the foot so plantar flexion this is called we have dorsiflexion and plantar flexion and then we'll release now meet me in a kneeling position and just sit back on your heels here and so this is a gentle stretch of the tops of the feet we'll just take this for a few breaths just start to notice what's happening even with your toes or your heels are they splaying apart they have a tendency to stay apart seeing if you can bring your feet in line with your shin bones next we will curl our toes under so we're basically doing the same thing we just did with our hands but now we're applying our load our hips and our torso weight on top so it's going to be intensified so if you have any kind of toe joint pain this might be too intense so you can do what we did on our seat there and just take a passive stretch so you'll notice perhaps that I'm taking my pinky toe and and I'm manually curling it under there so that all 10 toes are crawled under I will just take a few breaths here so if you're new to this position it can be painful right and so we don't want shooting stabbing burning signals of pain but discomfort here would be normal just feel the soles of your feet stretch as you're here and then when you're ready you'll release and we'll come into tabletop and we can just playfully Pat the tops of the feet into the mat from tabletop we'll extend our right leg behind us curl your right toes under so you're seeing a theme here we're getting more and more increasing the stretch of the soles of our feet and now if we just slightly pull the heel back we'll begin to stretch the Achilles heel and the calf a little bit more now I just want you to Simply Rock forward and then Rock back and when you rock back reach your heel back keep your knee joint nice and straight and then Rock forward and back and forward and there's no sense rushing these right because it's when we go back that we feel that nice deep stretch let's take about two more and we'll release and just switch sides so left toes curl under pull the heel back straighten out through your knee joint and we'll try or start these slow rocks so going forward and back forward you're holding for a beat as you go back forward and back and we'll do one more and release we'll take our set of blocks now you don't need blocks on this next one but it might be nice to just have them to stabilize and also we'll be applying some pressure on your back knee so any discomfort in the back knee you'll Pat it with a blanket so here we are in our lunge position we're typically instructed to keep our knee over our ankle joint but particularly with our back knee down we have a nice weight-bearing load that's like safe here for the knee to safely past the ankle joint it's no problem here and so this is one of the ways we can start to get used to the position that we have in our squat where the knees are past the ankles so we'll go forward and back now if you're able to I want you to pull your heel in a little bit closer and climb your

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