If you read my first article Build a Better Squat: Part 1, you know all about my obsession with not only the beauty and virtuosity of the squat but also its functionality. I discussed some of the basics for improving form and depth of the squat.
As a physical therapist and athlete, I can’t encourage my clients enough to use their entire range of motion. You were born with it for a reason. I encourage clients to move in the ways the human body was made to function. These movement patterns are vital to preserving joints and promoting tissue health. Through moving well, we optimize our ability to perform everyday activities without pain as we age.
Here, I’ll focus specifically on ankle and hip mobility and stability in the squat. I learned early on in my education and clinical work that it’s far, far better to be less flexible than hypermobile (extra flexy). You cannot have mobility without first having stability. Meaning, an extra mobile ankle poses just as much of a risk of injury as an ankle lacking adequate dorsiflexion, or the ability of the ankle to translate forward.
Here are some basic tests and exercises you can perform on your own to build a better squat and become a master in understanding the mechanics of your body.