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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Do you want to see my 5-inches?

So the other day I was talking about increasing ankle mobility using the banded dorsiflexion exercise....

But I realised, I didn't mention who should be using that mobilisation?

So, I wanted to introduce you to something called the "5-inch rule"

Ideal ankle mobility varies depending on the activities you need ankle mobility for...

For example, when walking around, you only need about 20 degrees (Weir & Chockalingam, 2007).

However, for anyone who is squatting, you need at least 35 degrees just to be able to bring your thighs to parallel (Hemmerich et al., 2006). You then need more mobility to go beyond parallel (achieve full depth).

So... how do we find how much we have/need to increase our ankle mobility to achieve better positions in a squat?

Well, we can use the 5-inch rule

#1 Measure a point 5 inches (roughly 13 cm) from a wall

#2 with your toes at that line try to bring your knee to the wall

#3 keep your knee aligned with your 2nd toe

#4 keep the heel on the ground

Do this on both sides, and note if there is a difference.


Now that you have a starting point, run through your ankle mobility drills. Then, retest to see whether your intervention made a difference.

It may not instantly fix all your squatting problems...

But it will definitely be nudging you in the right direction

Also, I should mention, everyone is a little different. Thus, the 5-inches may vary from person to person.

If you have any concerns, seek advice from a medical professional


Hemmerich, A., Brown, H., Smith, S., Marthandam, S. S. K., & Wyss, U. P. (2006). Hip, knee, and ankle kinematics of high range of motion activities of daily living. Journal of orthopaedic research, 24(4), 770-781.

Weir, J., & Chockalingam, N. (2007). Ankle joint dorsiflexion: assessment of true values necessary for normal gait. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 14(2), 76-82.

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