‼️LIMITED DORSIFLEXION AND THE SQUAT‼️
It’s well known limited ankle dorsiflexion can limit squat depth but because the body is great at finding ways to work around things, we are in fact able to achieve full depth with some decreased ankle mobility.
This occurs through compensatory mechanisms at the foot and further up the chain. As you can see in the video, limited dorsiflexion on the left results in a medial arch collapse and pronation of the foot.
With pronation in a closed-kinetic chain we get eversion of the calcaneus, adduction and plantar flexion of the talus, tibial medial rotation (values collapse - “push knees out”), and maybe even some internal rotation of the hip.
All of this is a result of limited dorsiflexion and is a great example of how mechanics at the foot affect movements at other joints. Valgus collapse at the knee during a squat is often blamed on weak glutes or external rotators of the hip but looking here we see it can also be due to impairments at the ankle. ✖️
This is something we call regional interdependence - the concept that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote region (limited ankle dorsiflexion) may contribute to or be associated with someone’s primary complaint (medial knee pain).
Take home message - when looking at movement mechanics, we must assess joints above and below because it’s all connected.