Assessing Ankle Mobility Part II

Previously, I wrote about a simple and objective way to assess ankle dorsiflexion (http://thebarbellphysio.com/2014/08/11/assessing-ankle-mobility/). This has been my favorite assessment dorsiflexion mobility assessment due to its’ ease of testing and that it gives athletes a measureable goal to work towards.

The athlete begins this test by assuming a half-kneeling position while barefoot. They then test how far away from a wall their 1st toe can be and touch their kneecap to the wall without their heel raising off the ground (and foot remaining in neutral position). Per the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), an athlete should be to move the knee a minimum of four inches past the toe.

I tend to suggest a score between three to five inches to suggest the athlete possesses adequate mobility. The problem with this is there is no clearly defined goal for the correct score based on an athlete’s height.

Lately, I have had success by using an individual’s hand width as a measurement of optimal scoring on the dorsiflexion test. This allows for a natural variation based on athlete height for the test as taller athletes tend to have larger hands (adipose tissue may change this number though). It also allows for the athlete to test-retest without needing to use a measuring device outside of simply placing their hand on the ground.

My hand measures just shy of 5″ wide. Making it a good measurement for a 6’2″ athlete.

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