✅ Ankle mobility is crucial when it comes to some exercises especially the squat, and many people lack a enough to reach a full depth squat. While stretching the calf muscles helps to increase the extensibility of the plantar flexors, sometimes there can be a possible issue in the joint itself that doesn’t allow for full ROM of motion. When the joint gets “stiff” it can limit the ROM of the ankle because of the position of the bones in the joint, sometimes using mobilizations may help improve that.⠀
✅ This was shown by (Elizabet E et al 2009) in a preliminary study that looked at ankle mobility after prolonged immobilization and the effects of an anterior to posterior mobilization on ankle dorsiflexion. They found an increase in dorsi flexion ROM post mobilization of the joint. There is a way to do this yourself using a resistance band as shown above.
✅ Using a resistance band .5-1 in wide, loop one part of it around an object to secure it and place the other part right under on the ankle joint under the end of the lower leg. Move forward until there is a good amount of tension trying to pull your leg back. Now begin to push forward the knee of the ankle that is covered with the band. This will move the ankle through its ROM in closed chain dorsi flexion. You want to push forward as far as you can without the heel lifting off the ground. ⠀
✅ Perform about 30 reps on each leg and then see if you have any improvements in your ankle mobility, if the joint “stiffness” was a limiting factor for you there should be an increase in ROM. This is a great mobilization to do prior to squat, if you need help getting your squat fixed check out my mobility guide in the link above.