Nearly everyone has limitations moving into dorsiflexion, which is required for squatting, lunging, and deadlifting. To increase mobility, hit the calves first on lower body days before your big compound lifts. Get a nasty pump using agonist/antagonist training.
Improve Ankle Mobility
By using calf raises (for gastroc work) along with lying banded dorsiflexions (for tibialis anterior work), you’ll get a metabolic-stress effect. This combo will unlock the neurological tension that makes your ankles as flexible as concrete bricks.
The key is to train both of these movements out of an extended range of motion into the stretched position:
- For calf raises, control your ankles deep into dorsiflexion, get a stretch at the bottom of each rep for a full second, then drive up explosively.
- For the lying banded dorsiflexions, hold each peak of contraction for a full second at the top and control the movement back down with deliberate tension.
Do sets between 15-20 reps for calf raises, and between 30-50 reps for dorsiflexions with short rests between the exercises. Rest 30-45 seconds between each superset.