Video: Wow he just lifted,  232 kg, that is 511 pounds !

What is one of our favorite areas to preach about ?  Yes, Ankle dorsiflexion range, or as we often term it, ankle rocker.  There are plenty of activities where we need that critical >90degrees (great than) in order to complete the movement at the appropriate joints.  Depending on the source you reference and the case by case evaluation, typically 110+ degrees are needed at the ankle hinge mortise (tibiotalar joint) in order to keep the motion from being forced elsewhere.  No sport seems to have it as an absolute critical range more than the Clean and Jerk Olympic lift. You can see in this video above, and particularly in this awesome slo-mo video here  that we need that magical range in order to do the lift properly.

What will happen if you try to do it with this critical ankle hinge range ? Well, the foot arch can collapse (pronate) to gain more tibial progression and get that tibia to move forward but this will mean that your tibia will be internally spinning which will drag the knee medially and this will create some serious knee loads and patellar tracking issues, to say the very least. Additionally, this spin can risk the anterior hip joint with issues which we will discuss another time.

The body has some pretty strict parameters when it comes to safe loading responses. And if those parameters are not met, then an alternate pattern must be employed if the motion or load must continue. And alternative loads usually lead to pain or injury.  

Make sure you have enough ankle range, amongst some other critical parameters, if you are going to lift, especially if you are going to lift  heavy.  Can you imagine the impacting load on the foot and the ankle if this fella had stiff ankles with less than 110 degrees ankle dorsiflexion ?  And remember, merely turning out your feet further doesn’t get you around the problem necessarily. It may help a little, but remember, if you are going to turn your feet out (increase your foot progression angle) the knee tracking has to follow that foot angle, and if it does not, then tibiofemoral torsion will increase and meniscal maceration is a foregone guarantee !

Ankle rocker, it is important stuff.  Especially when you are going this big ! But, even if you are doing more remedial squats or Turkish Getups or whatnot.

Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys

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