Make Your Ankles Mobile
Poor dorsiflexion is a hindrance to optimal squatting depth since the knees can’t track forward enough to let the butt drop lower. Especially if you’re a taller lifter, not having the ability to let the knees track forward past the toes is the recipe for a consistently shallow squat. Long legged people need not worry about the knees passing over the toes – it’s not injurious, and it’s quite necessary. Take a look at my squat (see video below) to see what I mean. At 6’4” it’s a long way down.
Fixes for Immobile Ankles
Do toe raises. Some performance gyms have special machines for this, but if yours doesn’t, simply use a dumbbell or plate, OR use a band. This will strengthen the tibialis anterior muscle, which helps keep the toes up.Walk on the heels. I recommend stretches of 10m, for 3 sets at a time, there and back.Stretch and release the calves. Tight calves can counter the involvement of the shin muscles so that the ankle can’t dorsiflex as far as it should. They’re often a link that go unnoticed in squatting hindrances.