Squatting is one of the most beneficial and fundamental movements in resistance training. To properly execute the movement, the mover must utilize the hip, knee, and ankle muscles to descend and ascend with reasonable control and consistency. As success in squatting is determined by the sum of efforts of those joints, it is crucial to identify and maintain strength and range of motion so we don’t rely too heavily on certain joints more than others to complete the task. One of the more common joints that limit success in squatting or decelerating tasks is the ankle and foot. These exercises make for a quick addition to your warm-up, maximizing your movement and getting you moving well.

After rolling your foot on a lacrosse ball, manually stretching your arches is another step to prepare your foot and ankle for squatting.

Equipment Needs

  • Chair of Bench

Muscle Groups Targeted

  • Plantar Aponeurosis, Plantar Intrinsic Muscles
  • Medial and Lateral Longitudinal Arch of foot

How to

  1. Sit on a hard chair or bench at a height where the feet are resting comfortably on the ground.
  2. Place your foot on the opposite thigh and pull the toes and ankle back into a dorsiflexed position (pull towards the shin) until you feel a stretch in the arch.
  3. Confirm tension in the arch by touching the foot’s arch with your opposite hand.
  4. Hold as much tension in the arch as comfortable for the duration

Recommended Sets and Repetitions

  • 30-45 seconds per foot

Check out a previous tip – Foot Rolling on Lacrosse Ball

Visit our website for training consultations, virtual coaching, and individual and group personal training. If you’re ready to work with one of our Exercise Specialists, fill out the consultation form so we can connect you with the best trainer to help you meet your goals. Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter for news, announcements, program information, swim tips, and exercise demos.

by Devin Clayton

Devin is a Bachelor of Physical Education graduate from the University of Alberta. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and is an NCCP certified Weightlifting coach.