Keep your heels down - 3 simple ankle mobility tips


How to make your ankles suck less.

3 quick tips you already know but need reminding of...

Article by Lachlan Rowston - 10/7/14


As a coach who often programs pistols and overhead squat & variations, I witness on a daily basis position apocalypses, frustrated head shaking and unnecessary physical discomfort.

Here is a quick program to help.


1. Basic Ankle smash on Kettle Bell

 Blocker 'iron ankles' Walsh

Blocker 'iron ankles' Walsh

How to do it:

- start at the ankle work your way up to half-way up the calf
- put lots of pressure till you are squealing
- roll your tendons and muscles laterally on the spot


2. Ultimate weighted ankle stretch

 Oh, hey Block. Looking good.

Oh, hey Block. Looking good.

How to do it:

- attach a band to a rig and to the base of your ankle
- use a moderate amount of tension to begin with
- use a kettlebell to force your knee forward, increasing the range/stretch
- how uncomfortable can you make it?


3. Rock bottom back squat holds

 Brace yourself, dorsi-flexion is coming.

Brace yourself, dorsi-flexion is coming.

How to do it:

- grab some plates for a heel lift (to replicate weightlifting shoes)
- load up a bar with < 30% of your 1RM Back Squat
- sit in the bottom of your squat, maintain your back position
- push your hips down towards your heels
- keep the weight distributed in your foot, bias the front


Put it all together, the prescription

Time: 10-20 mins, 3 x week

A. Mob 1
1-2 rounds
 1-2min on 4-6 spots on each side 

B. Mob 2
1-2 rounds
1-3 min each side

C. Mob 3
1-3 rounds
1-3 min hold


More ankle range = more upright squat, more comfortable pistols, better torso position for snatches and overhead squats. Better personality traits, better articulation, better vision (results may vary).

You're welcome, have fun.


Lachy Rowston
Head Programmer and coach at CrossFit Creature