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  • Coach Matt Pippin

Movement Alternative For Lunging With Ankle Pain

Who would have ever thought you could get pain in your ankle from doing lunges, right? Well if you have an ankle mobility problem, it’s most definitely going to happen. Don’t worry. I’m going to show you how to perform lunges without that ankle pinch so stay tuned.

The reason for the ankle pain during lunges is you’re letting your shin go too far forward without having the ankle prerequisites to do the job. This is putting a strain on your ankle, asking it to do something it’s not prepared to do.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with letting your knee go past your toes during a lunge unless of course, you don’t have the ankle prerequisites to do the job. If you’re feeling pain, give this alternative above a try so you can still continue to reap all of the benefits of the lunge, without the pain.

Not dealing with pain but want to see if a problem may be lurking in the background?


Obviously if you have pain while lunging, that’s the first sign you don’t have the prerequisites but try this quick test to see if you have what it takes to do “normal” lunges.

  1. Get in a half kneeling stance in front of a wall or something solid, with your front foot one inch away from the wall.

  2. While keeping the heel of your front foot down, push your knee toward the wall and over your toes

  3. If you can touch the wall with your knee without your heel coming up, you have enough ankle mobility to do a standard lunge.

If this was challenging for you to keep your heel down, we can make a small tweak to how you lunge by keeping your shin more vertical, which requires less ankle mobility. Watch the coaching video above for step-by-step instruction.


Let me just say….even though I’m giving you an alternative to avoid the ankle pain, that doesn’t mean you get to stop working on those guys…no shortcuts here people. Check out this mobility exercise specifically for the ankles.


Something like a foam roller or wall to block your knee from moving forward.

If you have sensitive knees, you can kneel on a pad or pillow like I am in the video.


I would recommend starting with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps and then progressing with increasing reps or adding load.



Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.


  • NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

  • Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist

  • Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach

  • Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)

  • Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor

  • Weck Method Qualified

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