Breaking Down the Squat: Mobility Issues Part II

by Dr. Nathan Hinkeldey on June 12, 2014


Within the previous post, Breaking Down the Squat: Mobility Issues Part I, proper squatting form was discussed. Words and images are nice to see, but what should be important to you is the movement. Today, the squatting movement will be assessed. A volunteer has allowed us to use their video in order to provide you an example of how we break down the squatting movement. This example will allow us to localize joint immobility, and identify the reason for it. During the course of evaluation, Texas (big issues) sized findings should be noted. Often times, fixing the large dysfunctions result in elimination of the small ones.

The Squat Checklist: (Foot –> Head)

  • Ankle Dorsiflexion
  • Knee Position
  • Hip Position
  • Torso Position

In the video to follow, we will observe a squat with the above in mind. As you watch, think about the checklist above. We will annotate what the findings are and in future posts we will explain what is wrong and how to fix it in each of the areas of above. You can choose to slow the video down and really get picky; however, for the purpose of the athlete, looking for obvious dysfunction is usually sufficient.

Foot Position:

Front View: As you can see from the video from the front, the left foot is located slightly behind the right foot. In addition, the left foot is pointed outward compared to the right which suggests tightness in the hip or lack and ankle mobility. Remember, this is not diagnostic, but it starts to point you in the proper direction.

Side View: Viewing this angle, you can see that the ankle motion is limited which is apparent by the excessive forward lean. However, this could also represent lack of hip mobility which we will will tease out in future posts.

Knee Position:

Front View: Knee position in this example is fairly normal. Potential flaws in this region include the knees crashing inward or flaring out excessively.

Hip Position:

The front view does not provide any Texas sized  findings, but the side view does illustrate some findings. At the bottom of the squat, you can see that the low back rounds. This could potentially lead to low back pain or a disc herniation. You can also see from this angle that the hips move toward the camera as he comes up out of the squat.

Torso Position:

Front and side view: You can see from either video that as he comes down into the squat, he leans excessively forward. This can be a result of a lack of ankle mobility, hip mobility, or upper back mobility.

Hopefully, from the above you can begin to assess others in your school, gym, box, or home. This topic is vast, and in posts to follow, Dr. Brock and Dr. Nate will be analyzing each region separately. Upon completion of this series, you will have the tools to begin to confidently analyzing the squat and some basic home remedies to address immobile areas.

Disclaimer: Remember that this series should only serve as an adjunct to your healthcare professionals examination. We are not your doctors and have not examined you; therefore,  the above should not serve as medical advice. Please do not hold us liable for taking our advice as we have just advised you not to.



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