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I see this Half Kneeling Dorsiflexion Mobilization exercise a lot as a method for improving ankle dorsiflexion. Here is Start: Start Ending position: End Why is it that it is recommended to have your knee outside your ankle instead of over it? Does this also apply to lunges in general?

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  • Since YouTube videos might be taken down, and sometimes people can't view them due to location or network constraints, it would be better if you'd provide the name of the exercise, and perhaps include some pictures of its execution.
    – G_H
    Feb 9, 2017 at 12:26
  • Hopefully the edits will help. Feb 9, 2017 at 18:06

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As per my earlier comment, I have not found a good source for this information, but I feel comfortable enough from my own experimentation to provide it as an answer.

The exercise involves you bending your knee past a standing dowel rod, presumably to give you a goal distance, past just vertical, but not too far to avoid strain on your knee. Due to the physical presence of the rod, you are unlikely to have your knee directly centered over your ankle (your knee generally being wider than your foot or ankle), so you're going to wind up with your knee either pointed a little bit inwards or a little bit out. The hip joint is built to more readily allow the hip to rotate outwards (as per a sumo squat), which means your connective tissue is better able to sustain your weight as you lean forward. Compare to you having your knee move even a little bit inwards, which is a much more awkward position.

So, in short, I think this is a case where it has less to do with your ankle (which is what you're exercising), and more to do with your knee (which is still bearing a fair amount of your body weight). You could probably adjust the location of the dowel to ensure that your knee is centered over your ankle, but you're better off going to the outside to err on the side of caution.

Probably irrelevant to this exercise, I do Capoeira, and we're taught to always point the knee a little outwards, but that's primarily so that, if someone kicks or stomps that leg, you can just open up your hips and collapse to the floor rather than suffer a blown knee.

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  • That's interesting. Maybe this is also the reason why knees caving inwards is so heavily warned against in squats, while the case of knees being too far outward seems barely addressed. Maybe that just rarely happens?
    – G_H
    Feb 17, 2017 at 13:03

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