Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Foot/Ankle Squat – Inside of Foot Rising/Weight on Outside of Foot

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    • #70545
      AvatarIan Cameron

      Hi guys,

      I’ve improved my hip external rotation and have gotten a lot better at getting my knees out during the squat. 
      The problem I’m having now is that as I descend into the squat, the inside of my foot starts to come off the ground and my weight shifts to the outside of my foot.
      Any suggestions on mobilizations that would help improve this? I was thinking that it might be my posterior tib that needs some work.
    • #73054

      With the improved position it sounds like you you have a more defined arch which is a good thing.
      Think of having your weight through your mid foot which can help your weight to be better balanced through your foot.
      Daily Rx August 17th is one that may help.
      Hit any areas that you think are impacting the area.

    • #73064
      AvatarHarry Palmer


      Yes, post tib can be an issue here.  Also calf suppleness in general.  Smash those areas out and also look into the episodes that deal with ankle mobility.  For me, the heel ball whack, freeing up the calcaneous, and band distracted ankle mobs help me keep my feet firmly on the ground while squatting.  I broke my left ankle playing football 15 years ago and it definitely has less mobility then my right.  I will do the band distracted ankle mobs between squat sets even.

      Good luck.

    • #73262

      I’ve been having issue’s with this as well.

      I feel that my inner foot/big toe keeps coming up off the floor because of short/tight Gracilis and/or Sartorius muscles.  Couch stretch can kind of hit these if I do it on a desk chair – similar to how Kelly showed how it could be done at an airport using the seats there. But since the desk chair swivels, I can go hunting a lot easier.

      Am I completely off base for thinking those 2 muscles might be the culprit?

      Are there any other mobilization exercises that would target these better?

      FYI – I hit them up pretty frequently with “the stick”, a lacrosse ball, and a PCV pipe roller. I also floss with the red voodoo band at the knee. Lastly, I used to do a lot of mulligan work on my tibia/femur in the past. I stopped for a while, but have started doing it again which seems to help when I start to feel pain in my knee when I squat. After the therapy the knee seems to track a lot better and the pain goes away for the most part. But the inability to keep my big toe on the ground is still there. 🙁

    • #73263
      Avatar[email protected]

      This has also been an issue for me. I feel that taking a wider stance while keeping all the same principles active for a good squat will allow your foot to remain on the ground while you deal with the mobility of your ankle.

      Try everything you can on and around the ankle but for me hitting this area seems to really help:

      Except I use a lax ball with as much pressure as I can get. There have been a few videos with a KB as well which should work even better.

      It’s funny how it works though. Start solving one problem (externally rotating hip during squat) and open up a few new problems (foot not staying flat, groin tightness, etc)

    • #73268

      Yeah no kidding! It’s kind of like peeling layers off an onion. Once you address one issue, other issues now present themselves. But they were there all along anyways, so at least you’re not creating new problems.

      I’ll try the wider stance, but I think my ankle mobility is ok. I’m still wondering if I’m on track or off base regarding the Gracilis and Sartorius muscles.

    • #73269

      As Kelly has noted on several occasions you don’t need to be as concerned with the individual muscles. You are a system of systems and impacting everything tight in the area.
      Have you hit the plantar fascia?
      Are you wearing bulky shoes?

    • #73285

      Well I get the systems of systems, and I’ve hit and continue to hit as many of them as possible each day.

      I have hit the plantar fascia with a lax ball, a pvc pipe and the foot rolling device from thestick.com

      I try and stay barefoot as much as possible and when I wear shoes I always try to wear vibrams,  low profile pumas, or shoes that have very little heel on them. I also work on my foot strength and have gotten dramatically better at holding myself up on my toes and with the jump rope.

      I think I’m at a point where I know proper form, and when I have a barbell loaded in the front or on my back, I can execute well. It’s actually only when I’m doing body weight exercises that the inside feet/big toe really come up off the ground.

      It’s as though they’re tight, but will stretch into the right position when I have extra weight. But somehow the tightness is enough to get in the way of good form without the weight. My fear is that jumping during sports will fall into the latter category and cause damage.

      I’m just trying to find a way to get the flexibility I need with a bit more ease. It just seemed like those muscles were pulling against proper tracking – which is why I asked about them.

      So when you’re attacking all of the systems, and you’ve addressed about 90% of the them, what do you do when continuing to attack the overall systems doesn’t provide any further mobility or benefit? I figured looking into specific muscles would be the answer.

    • #73292

      Choose a max of 3 mobs to work with each day.
      Goal being quality time spent vs quantity of time spent.
      You may need to try a ball with more give.
      If possible repeat what you do more than 1 time a day. This way there isn’t so much time between the stimuli for the changed position.
      Keep working with it everyday.
      You are breaking one habit and creating a new one. It may seem like you are accomplishing anything, but you are piece, by piece, Chip away at. Each time you work with it you are engraining the correct movement patterns/positioning.

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