Dorsiflexion range of motion is crucial for athletes as the foot lays the foundation for the movement patterns throughout the entire lower extremities. Limited dorsiflexion range of motion has been associated with a wide variety of lower extremity injuries including patellofemoral pain, ankle sprains, and ACL tears as well as being associated with faulty mechanics during squats, lateral step downs, and jump landings.
Assessing dorsiflexion is very easy. Have the athlete assume a half kneeling position in front of a wall as shown above. The athlete should test how far away from the wall their big toe can be, while still being able to touch their knee to the wall with the foot remaining flat on the floor. Ideally, the athlete should have their big toe one hand-width away from the wall and still be able to touch. Anything less than this indicates a need to address ankle mobility.