I’ve just finished another running rehab session where we’ve seen immediate and impressive improvements in closed-chain ankle dorsiflexion, through using this simple joint mobilisation.
@AKthe_AT does a great job of demonstrating the exercise in his video below. I usually see best results with the hands-on version shown at the end of Adam’s clip.
It’s not uncommon that athletes who lack dorsiflexion, do so not just due to tightness through the plantar flexor muscles (calf complex), but also potentially due to poor accessory movement of the ankle joint.
In weight bearing dorsiflexion, as the tibia and fibular roll forwards over the top of the talus, the talus needs to be able to glide posteriorly (relative to the lower leg), to enable proper joint movement into dorsiflexion. This simple mobilisation technique, known as a Mobilisation with Movement (MWM) facilitates just that gliding motion.
Give it a go at home!