Tuesday 160517

Overhead squat 1-1-1
Front Squat 1-1-1
Back Squat 1-1-1

Post weights to BTWB

Today we are going to be doing 3 different squat variations.  A part of the body that is super important for your squat mechanics is the ankle.  Poor ankle mobility can lead to faults in our ability to squat efficiently.  Below is a blog written by one of our former coaches that addresses some common issues we see with ankles.  For those of you that never had a chance to meet Luke or be coached by him before he moved to Hawaii, his insight is great, but his comedy, well I’ll leave that to you to decide.  

The Ankle Angle ~ Luke Palmisano

The ankle may not seem very important to your well being, but for a coach with a keen eye, it’s a dead give-away for issues that you may be dealing with. Do your knees hurt when you squat? Do your knees hurt in general? Your achilles giving you issues? You got a bone spur growing on the back of your foot? Here’s the deal: We try to correct athlete’s foot position in all sorts of different movements. A common comment that we hear when we try to straighten your foot in order to derive torque and stability in other areas of the body is that it doesn’t feel nearly as comfortable as it does when your feet are out. So I fix your feet, try to put your ankle into a neutral position, and then guess what most of you do? You go right back to what feels comfortable, feet out, ankles caving. This is harmful over the long term. What happens is that one day you wake and your knees hurt. You try to squat, and they hurt more. You can’t figure out why. You say to yourself, “My knees never used to hurt while squatting.” Well, poor movement patterns are starting to catch up with you. If you stretch ligaments and tendons too much in the wrong directions for too long a period of time, adverse things will happen, and it will manifest itself by way of pain. I pity the fool!!

As coaches, we try really, really hard to help people avoid this.

So, the ankle. Why does it matter? It’s the smallest, yet hardest joint to identify issues in. It’s also difficult to correct, because it’s surrounded by a lot of ligaments and tendons, not a lot of muscles. It’s obvious when the knees are dipping in, but not as obvious when the ankle impinges. So here’s a test. Put both hands one inch away from each side of your foot. Straighten your ankle so that the space between each hand and your ankle is equidistant. Now naturally let your ankle and feet rest. If your foot and ankle caved inward, you have over-pronated feet. This over-pronated position, and the lack of ability to squat, deadlift, run, et al, in a neutral ankle position, will harm you in the long term. So, what to do? Well, first understand that the ankle is really made up of two joints: one that lets your foot go up and down, and one that helps it go from side to side. Both directions have to be mobilized. Bands are a huge help, and they’re simple to use. Observe the pictures below. One tests dorsi-flexion, or the ability to drive the knee forward and flex the ankle the same direction. The other tests the ankle’s ability to stay in a neutral position while attempting to externally rotate the leg and get the hip and knee into a stable position.

This may be hard shell to crack; some of us having even been walking with bad foot position for decades now. The benefits are clear: 1, Mr. T won’t be laughing in your face as you wake up with various unnecessary pains… and I won’t judge you. 

Kidding. Mr. T will always be with you.

Dorsi-flexion.

Keeping the foot locked down while driving the knee out.

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