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Want to Improve Your Squat? Improve Your Ankle Mobility

A very common question that I get from many people is: “how do I increase the depth of my squat?” The squat is not only an extremely effective, full-body exercise (if done correctly) but also a valuable tool in determining dysfunction (tight muscles, imbalances, compensations, etc.)

In order to squat well ( and pain-free) several events need to occur:

On the descent (Lowering):

1.) Hips Flex

2.) Knees Flex

3.) Ankles Dorsiflex

On the Ascent (Standing back up):

1.) Hips Extend

2.) Knees Extend

3.) Ankles plantarflex

Obviously, the perfect squat is much more complicated than that. There are several muscles and muscle groups that can greatly affect your mobility in your squat. Some of the more common culprits are Tight hip flexors, hamstrings, and gastrocs.

For many of you reading this, you have likely already foam rolled and stretched your muscles into oblivion. Some of you may have noticed results while others are left scratching their head. It all starts at your feet. Your lack of ankle mobility could not only be the reason that your squat depth is lacking but also the reason that you have hamstring, calve, or lower back pain.

Your feet are your foundation in the squat, so it is necessary to address the mobility of the ankle, particularly dorsiflexion (think toes to shins.) Many of us have restrictions in mobility in our ankles (especially those who have suffered some serious sprains causing the ligaments to shorten.) Runners, swimmers, tennis players, gymnasts this is likely a problem!

Quick Test for Ankle mobility:

Shin to Toe Test:

-Place one foot about 4″ away from a wall.

-Assume a kneeling lunge position facing the wall

-With your front foot planted, lean forward trying to get your knee to touch the wall

Could you do this? If not you likely have ankle mobility issues!

Try This: This same test above can be used a drill to improve your mobility in your ankles. Simply lean forward bringing your knee to the wall until you feel a stretch, then back off. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

The most of effective solution to improving your ankle (and likely your hip mobility) is a combination of stretching, drills, and chiropractic.

 

If you are interested in improving your mobility give us a call or schedule online: (781) 460-0939

 

Keep moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

 

 

Chiropractic Treatment of Tendonitis

Tendonitis is defined as irritation and resulting inflammation of a muscle tendon; typically resulting from over-use. Some of the more common types of tendonitis experienced include: Tennis Elbow (pain in the later part of the elbow), Golfers Elbow (pain in medial portion of elbow), Supraspinatus or Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (pain on the top of the shoulder or neck), and Plantar Fasciitis (Most commonly characterized by heel pain.) Statistically, many people will experience tendonitis at some point in their life. Many physicians still advise “waiting it out”, and report that many cases pass. While this is partly true, what happens in chronic cases that do not seem to remit, or seem to flare-up more often? Many people are left with little to no solution to their problem.

A better approach to treatment of Tendonitis:

While many people seem to recover rather quickly with little to no intervention, if you find that you are someone who has been dealing with tendonitis off and on for quite some time there is a good chance your problem can become chronic. What does this mean exactly? Chronic inflammation of a tendon is characterized as Tendonosis; or chronic tendonitis that has lead to damage at a cellular level. When you have chronic inflammation in a tendon over-time it leads to micro-tears in the muscle. These micro-tears cause the body to trigger a healing response. In an effort to quickly heal the body will produce Type III collagen fibers to “patch” the irritated muscle. Type III collagen is lacking the tensile strength of healthy tissue; making the tendon weaker, and more likely to rupture. Additionally, cases where tendonitis seems to “come and go”  are more likely to become chronic and lead to a greater chance of a more serious injury.

IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization) has been shown to promote healing and increase tensile strength of injured tendons and ligaments by promoting a healing response on a cellular level. By inceasing blood flow and fibroblast activity we can activate a healing response. Many people have even reported resolution of their tendonitis. IASTM in addition to stretching, spinal or extra-spinal manipulation, and specific rehabilitative exercise is an extremely effect, and cost-efficient solution.

Wondering if IASTM is right for you?  Click Here to schedule an appointment and start healing!

 

Keep Moving.

 

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939