Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Fail, Fail, Fail… Where now?

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    • #70568
      AvatarDalton Post

      Hi Folks,

      I have the BASL book, and am working hard to sort out my mechanics after struggling with a few injuries and pain. Going through the diagnostics:
      10 mins squat test — FAIL. I just can’t get in that position without hugging my knees and getting on my toes.
      Pistol test — FAIL. No chance of getting in that position!
      Couch stretch? No idea what this is (can’t seem to find it in the book) but I would no doubt flunk that too.
      So, where now? I seem to have heel chords of pure steel, and am so far off passing these tests. Where do I start?
      Is it really all about smashing it with a lax ball? Or are there specific flexibility and stretching routines I should be doing to work on the heel chord and hamstrings?
    • #73112
      AvatarTravis Wyant

      Sounds like ankle mobility issues at the very least. But remember it’s a systems approach so working up the entire chain is essential. Favouring your tight ankles though would make sense.


      I would highly recommend the banded distraction work from both the front and the back.

      I would also recommend the lateral malleolus and calcaneus manipulation with the ball.

      You also might want to consider voodoo wrapping the feet and ankle and move about in them as this will force tarsals and metatarsals to move and also help get your ankle into a good position.


      Also, look into smashing / contract relax work on your anterior and posterior tibials and the related compartments.


      I have really bad ankle ROM in my right foot and this is due to many factors, primarily it would seem to a ‘bony block’ where my lateral malleolus doesn’t allow my talus bone to glide under the tibia during dorsi-flexion. So I can sympathise greatly. I too am a mile off the pistol test, but, I am slowly seeing an improvement. 

    • #73117
    • #73228
      AvatarKatie Hemphill

      Hey Jim,

      I, too, fail a pistol test like a champ!
      Seems to me like you’re just a little overwhelmed about the process. My advice would be to make sure you read allllllll those wordy chapters in BaSL before cracking into the mobility stuff, as they explain a lot about how to begin dealing with your issues. The biggest thing is to just take it a day at a time, chip away at the problems, and get some work done.
      The process is just that, a process, and it takes time. Program your mobility work along with the movements of the day (prep for positions and recover worked tissues) and it will become much easier to organize. Aside from that, I would prioritize trying to clear pain issues, starting with the worst one.
      You’ll get really good at being your own mechanic over the next few months. Just be patient, diligent, and focused.
    • #73237
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