Friday Squat Fix: Is it my ankles or my hips?

Quick self-test for you today: If your bottom position in the squat is suffering, what's to blame?

Is it your ankles or your hips?

The body is a system, and flaws or dysfunctions in one joint often are translated up or down the stream to sabotage movement patterns you should otherwise be able to express. As a movement expert, I need to get to the bottom of the issue, so to speak, and determine the cause before I can prescribe a correction.

If your bottom-of-the-squat is wonky -- knees and/or ankles caving in or wobbling as you come out of the bottom -- here's a quick test you can do on yourself to rule the ankles in or out as the culprit.

So get into the bottom of a squat and try to transition from there to a pistol squat. If you can hold that position with a good, stable knee (tracking out over your little toe), chances are that your ankles aren't to blame for your poor squatting. We would then move up the chain and explore the hips for weakness and range-of-motion limitations, and prescribe exercises to address it.

But if you fall down when trying to get into that pistol position, you'll know that you've got some work to do on strengthening, stabilizing and smoothing out blockages in your ankles. 

Try this test on yourself and hit us back in the comments or on Facebook with your results.