The squat is one of the best functional movements out there that is easy to do in any space and is a great exercise for all ages. The squat movement is not hard in itself to perform but can be challenging if you have a mobility restriction at your hips, knees, or ankles. Here we will explain two mobility tests you can try at home to see if your mobility is affecting your squat.
Test #1: Knee to Chest
While lying down, bring your knees to your chest by pulling at your shins. If your thighs can touch your chest, you have adequate hip mobility to perform a squat. If your thighs don't touch, try bringing your knees to your chest by reaching and pulling from behind the thighs. If your thighs now touch your chest, there is a knee mobility limitation. If the thighs still don't touch even with this modification, then you have a true hip mobility limitation.
Test #2: Knee to Wall
While kneeling, place your forward foot about a hands-width distance from a wall. From there, lunge forward and push your knee towards the wall without letting your heel come up off of the floor. If your knee can touch the wall, you have adequate ankle mobility to perform a squat. If your knee doesn't touch, pay attention to where you feel tightness. If you feel it at the front of the ankle, there may be an ankle joint restriction. If you feel the tightness in the back of the ankle, the limitation is more likely due to muscle tightness at the calf.
Watch the video below for a visual representation of these two tests, plus some exercise ideas to try if you find that you do have a mobility limitation with these two tests.
Have aches and pains with your squat and want a full assessment? Contact us here to schedule a session with a Doctor of Physical Therapy in downtown Milwaukee.