Dorsiflexion is the movement of your foot and ankle up towards your shin. This motion works the most basic human movements like squatting, walking, running, jumping, and more. If you’ve ever had problems or pain associated with sitting and standing from a chair or walking up and downstairs, it’s your dorsiflexion at work.
Poor dorsiflexion has been linked to falls in the elderly and ACL injuries in athletes, so it’s vitally important to strengthen it with physiotherapy exercises.
Here’s one you can do at home with an exercise band.
1. First, you need a heavy, sturdy object to place one end of the exercise band around.
2. Place the other end around your ankle right at where the wrinkle is between your foot and shin.
3. Bring the leg you’re working on slightly forward from the other leg, positioning your foot facing forward.
4. Move your knee forward to place tension while keeping your arch from flattening and your foot from coming up off the floor.
5. Be careful that you don’t let your knee fall to the inside and collapse your arch. This encourages a bad movement pattern.
6. Relax into the stretch and bounce a little. Most times, you don’t want to bounce in stretches, but the dorsiflexion is a good one to do it.
7. Move your knee towards the outside a little to get at muscles there. If you have problems getting deep in a squat, this will help.
8. Repeat this stretch on the other leg.
9. Perform the dorsiflexion exercise 2 minutes a day every other day.
Everyone, not just athletes, can benefit from this dorsiflexion exercise. And if you want perfect squat form and to be able to hold it with ease, this is the exercise for you.
Physical therapy like the dorsiflexion exercise lets you naturally strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of injury. Whether you’re physically active or not, physical therapy can help you enjoy your life to the fullest in the safest, most comfortable way.