Monday Motivation (WEEK 10): Strength, Flexibility & Mobility
In this weeks edition, we are going to discuss strength, flexibility, and mobility. Specifically, we will talk about squats and ankle mobility exercises.
Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Mobility is how well the joint moves. Range of motion can be limited by both inflexibility and poor mobility, a big problem that is often seen at the ankle. If an athlete cant squat to getting legs parallel to the floor they are deficient in either the ankle, hip or hamstring flexibility. If you were to elevate your heels 1-4 inches like on a 35 or 45 lb plate and performed the squat better, you can safely say that your issue is at the ankle or both ankles. One way to do a quick test on your ankle mobility is to stand with your toes a few inches away from the wall and flex your toes up so you feel your calf muscles tighten up. Now try and bend your knee to touch the wall while keeping your heel on the floor. Pay attention to the symmetry of both ankles as well. Check to make sure both are close to equal distance and also that you can get a good range of motion at the ankle, feeling that pull in the ankle is normal. Don’t ever improve the range of motion on one ankle hasn’t yet caught up to it. We want both sides of the body to be as similar as possible.
Lastly, no one does half, or quarter curls to save the elbows; the knees shouldn’t be any different. Partial squats cannot fully develop glutes, hamstrings and the lower back. If you need to elevate your heels to get more mobility, do it. Just make sure you work on your ankle range of motion as well. Increasing strength in squatting movements is the first step in developing speed and increasing one’s vertical jump.
In Good Health Always,
Sean Maloney and the ToneUp Club Team