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Can Ankle Mobility Be Improved Much or Is It Genetic?

I was reading an article online that was saying ankle mobility is mostly genetic and that a lot of these ankle mobility exercises are a waste of time. Is that true? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly squat without gaining better ankle flexibilty, so it feels like a lost cause to me…or am I wrong here? Has people here been able to go from not being able to squat and fix their ankle mobility enough that they could?

My squat looked crappy when I first learned how. It’s far from perfect but it’s gotten better with time and practice.

I’m sure there is some truth to mobility and genetics being related - I’m sure most people will never be able to do JCVD level splits, you know?

However, you’re asking about a squat. It’s one of the main movements the human body can do. Telling yourself that your current ankle mobility means you might never be able to do is only gonna hold you back. Spend 5 minutes a day practicing for a month. Almost positive it’ll fix whatever issue you believe you have.

U can improve. Your starting point and potential might be genetically determined but u should be able to develop sufficient mobility to squat with. That or slap something under your heel

This statement is somewhat true, but quite misleading.

Why do you feel this way?


In my opinion, this is one of the more thorough articles to explain improving ankle ROM.

The other thing to consider is if you have a very toes-out posture. If, when you stand, your toes, feet and tibial tuberosities (view below) point out to the side greater than about 20 degrees, you may need to improve the rotation capacity of your knee.

First, do the mobilisation at 34:16 in this video:

Then do knee CARs for about 2-3 sets of 45-60s per leg, prioritising internal rotation (toes and tibial tuberosities point inwards, towards the opposite leg)


I think I read the same article.

The take home message I got was that ankle mobility is limited by genetics/anatomy and there is no point spending hours on ankle mobility drills. HOWEVER the article did say ankle mobility/ flexibility work is beneficial and should still be practiced, especially for people prone to tight ankles (such as athletes who do lots of running etc).


Brah u watched dis?

TLDW use short term techniques to increase flexibility, use that acute increase in flexibility to move in a sport specific full ROM way and do resistance training in full ROM (conveniently enough lifting is kinda both at times) rinse and repeat often until desired mobility is attained. Maintain with full ROM activity.


I, too, think that you will never be able to squat.


get a new hobby…


Rolling out or mashing up the “upper, outside” of my calves, around to the “side-front” of my shin loosens up my tight feet and ankles.

It’s really hard to squat down knock-kneed with tight ankles and busted down, flat feet. Supple calves allow for much smoother motion.


This is more or less the only useful, validated way to use mobilisations.

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Great point, I too found that addressing the sides of my shins lead to a huge improvement in my dorsiflexion range


Was news to me. Then again I’ve never really looked into it

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That’s fair enough. I don’t fully understand the mechanism myself, but using the concept had been a game-changer for me

Based on the testing I did my issue is soft tissue related. So it sounds like that’s more correctable than a joint issue.

Roll them out with a rolling pin.

How do I post videos? Wanted to show my front squat form.

Post them to YouTube, then copy and paste the link into a reply on here.

Okay, that what I figured.

OK, here are are two clips. First is without heel raised and the other is with it raised. Please give me some feedback on form, etc.

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It doesn’t look like you ever really fully stand back up. Could just be me.

But dude, those are fine. Some people will probably have some corrections for you to work on but that’s not a bad squat. People have gotten bigger and stronger with worse.

You seem to be able to maintain a good rack position.

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