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Bad ankle flexibility

hoodlum

hoodlum

MuscleHead
Jan 3, 2012
903
172
#1
Alright so things have taken a downwards spiral in life and I let that get to my training too but its time to knuckle back down. First things first, I have a slight problem with one of my ankle's that really taking a toll on my legs, predominantly squats and deadlifts.

The problem is bad ankle dorsiflexion
(for anyone that doesn't know what that is, http://www.gla.ac.uk/t4/~fbls/files/fab/images/anatomy/dorsdiag.gif)

If I was to stand up still and bend at the knees one of my knees would stop quiet quickly while the other goes well beyond my toes. I find that when I'm at the bottom of a squat its very unstable and becomes weak far quicker than I can fatigue my muscles (leading to fairly light squats compared to where I should be). I have started doing some specific strengthening work, mainly standing on uneven ground on one foot so the balancing strengthens the ankle. I've seen a physio before but besides generally moving it from one side to the other and a resistance band there was no real advice.

I was wondering if anyone has had any similar problems, suggestions or even if they think the problem lays more with my squat/dead technique?
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

VIP Member
Mar 6, 2011
10,506
2,672
#2
You could possibly have mobility issues that are effectiving your lifts. It's quite common. I'd suggest you pick up supple leopard by kelly starret. That's my advice.
 
PillarofBalance

PillarofBalance

Strength Pimp
Feb 27, 2011
17,066
4,635
#3
Clarify: One leg will not go into dorsiflexion? Or too much?
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

VIP Member
Mar 6, 2011
10,506
2,672
#5
Maybe place a 2x4 under your heels?
2" is overkill and would put a lot of sheering force on the knee. 1" would be a better amount to start out with. This also dosen't fix/correct the problem.
 
Last edited:
hoodlum

hoodlum

MuscleHead
Jan 3, 2012
903
172
#6
One ankle will allow dorsiflexion to a very small degree. Say the normal (and my other leg) is 10-30%, my injured ankle will only allow 2-5% max. Far less than the other leg.

In my original post my mind must have been elsewhere, I forgot to mention I've had surgery on this ankle for breaking it. The deltoid ligament tore off the tibia bone, when this happened the very end of the tibia bone came off too and shattered into small pieces. Couple of screws still in my foot.

What's the principal behind elevating the heel, is it the same as the wedged looking lifting shoes? I thought that was to take stress off tight achillies heel tendons at the bottom of a lift. Im probably wrong though.
 
GiantSlayer

GiantSlayer

VIP Member
Jan 27, 2013
2,383
710
#7
Raising the heel reduces the angle of dorsiflexion while performing a squat. As stated above this is like putting a band aide on the problem whereas it will not correct the problem. It's a workaround.
 
Last edited:
alpha

alpha

VIP Member
May 1, 2012
119
42
#8
while some will argue that a good pair of oly shoes will only act as a band aid, it may help prevent further injury to the surrounding and connecting joints (knees/hips and even worse on the ankles) WHILE you are working on ankle flexibility and mobility. I see no problem with adding in a good lifting shoe. There is also a big difference between flexibility and mobility. Make sure you are working at both, but also remember the ankle (and hip) works much better as a mobile unit which in turn will help to help stabilize the knee joint.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

VIP Member
Mar 6, 2011
10,506
2,672
#9
Oly shoes do a lot more than just make it easier to get into position. They also help create a more stable environment to train in.
 
H

heavy hitter

Member
Oct 7, 2013
51
5
#10
With your situation with screws and whatnot, a board would probably help. If it was a flexibility or soft tissue problem, i would highly recommend some voodoo floss. worked wonders on my ankles
 
hoodlum

hoodlum

MuscleHead
Jan 3, 2012
903
172
#11
Okay so changing shoes seems to be a good step forward but what else can I do to actually increase flexibility? Is there anything? Obviously basic stretching and whatnot but for increased mobility is there anything that can actually be done or am I wasting time going down that route as there is plenty for increasing strength just not so much for mobility
 
H

heavy hitter

Member
Oct 7, 2013
51
5
#12
theres lots you can do for mobility, roll the plantar area on a lacrosse ball, mash the hell out of your achiles on a barbell ala Kelley Starett, work with some voodoo floss on the ankle joint, work on sitting down in the squat position for long periods of time i.e. up to ten minutes while watching tv or something. all these things have tremendously helped my ankle mpbility. Sometimes you gotta think up and downstream. it could be something as simple as the skin on your achiles being tacked down causing the sliding surfaces to not function properly. or even the achiles itself being shortened from chronic misuse
 
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