Well, welcome everyone to the next episode of the Redefining Physical Therapy Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Gray.

And so today’s going to be a relatively quick podcast.

And so this is for all of you physios out there and manual therapists or even any other coaches that are trying to improve your athlete’s squat pattern or your CrossFit athlete’s squat pattern and you’re just finding that their ankle dorsiflexion is just lacking, and you’ve cleared the ankle.

You said, hey, they’ve got good cath mobility.

They’ve got good joint mobility, but they still, when they go, end up on their toes or their heel gets early rise deep into the squat pattern.

Or they may even prone it excessively because of the lack of dorsiflexion that you’re seeing. And it’s compensating and getting motion at the midtarsal joint.

So once you’ve checked all these different things, you’re like, well, where do I go, right?

And so the answer really checks above, to check the thoracic spine.

And so I think this is a lot of times a neglected component to improving an athlete’s squat. And so think about it for a second, right?

And so if I am kyphotic or I can’t extend, I have a bar belt behind my back for a back squat, I need an adequate thoracic extension. Right?

And if I don’t have T-spine extension, I’m going to go into more of a kyphotic posture and that’s going to shift my weight forward and I’m going to not be able to access all of my true ankle dorsiflexion mobility. Right?

And so, as a result, I’m going to have a poor squat pattern.

I’m going to show that I’ve got a lack of ankle mobility, but in reality, it’s the T-spine that’s the problem, right?

So a couple of ways that you can fix it, obviously you can do any high-velocity manipulations. Obviously, you can do any of your openings up the anterior muscles, the lats.

And then obviously all that stuff is all good. Any mobilization movements that are going to help restore that T-spine extension.

So that’s my little clinical pearl for the day because I’ve seen it several times where I’m working with a CrossFit athlete or an athlete and I’m just not able to get ankle mobility.

And I’m sitting there like, what am I missing, right?

And so the answer is usually above, right?

So we want to work on the thoracic spine mobility to enhance ankle dorsiflexion mobility.