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How mobile are your ankles? Here’s how to test!

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Right, so you’ve been working hard on that ankle mobility. Perhaps the bottom of a squat is feeling a little more comfortable, maybe you can sink a little deeper into that calf stretch. But how can you be really sure all that mobility work is paying off??

Dorsiflexion Wall Test

Take part in this test – make a note of your measurements; left and right. Voila, one objective measurement of ankle mobility!

What am I looking for?

1. Symmetry

Firstly both sides should be the same. Unless there’s a particular reason like surgery, previous fractures etc then your scores should be within 1cm of one another.

2. Pain

This movement should be PAIN FREE! Having mobile, but painful ankles is just as bad as stiff ankles. If you don’t know the cause of the pain then book an assessment. If you do know the cause, then do something about it!

3. Movement quality

Is there any clicking, crunching, grinding or restriction in the movement? This can indicate joint instability – an imbalance between muscle groups causing the joint position to shift unnaturally, or tight tissues. Sports massage, joint mobilisation & ankle strengthening exercises can help address these imbalances.

4. And lastly range!

Normal range of motion for dorsiflexion is 15-20 degrees – which on most of our patients equates to 7cm range or above.

If you’re specifically working on improving your joint mobility then this is a minimum to aim for. As with any intervention you should do an initial test and then retest after a few weeks to measure the improvements. Especially if this is the first time of you working to improve your mobility then almost any consistent effort to improve your ankle mobility should work. If you are working around a previous injury or have plateaued out with your progress then drop us a line and see how we can help.

How to improve your ankle mobility?

Here are some resources for you!!

Follow Vicki:

Sports Massage Therapist

Vicki Marsh MSc BA (hons) studied at Oxford University before training as a Sports Massage Therapist. With over 12 years experience she specialises in chronic pain & complex cases as well as coaching Crossfit & Weightlifters. She runs specialist workshops, creates online courses and has spoken at events such as COPA on how to grow a successful business.

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