Hey guys, lately, I've been working on two drills: the Third World Squat (http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1856085&cr
) and pistol squats. Basically, my form on front squats and overhead squats are really good, but only while wearing olympic shoes (or any shoes with a raised heel). When doing OHS without shoes, I can barely break parallel, so I've been working on these two exercises (mainly the deep third world squat), but have hit a wall.
When doing the third world squat in shoes, I can sit deep without any problem for minutes at a time. However, when I try to do them without shoes, I have to lean really far forward to balance myself. When I do them without shoes, I can sit really deep, but I have to me holding onto something in front of me, like a power rack. I've practiced this for a few weeks, and stretched everything I can think of, but I hit a plateau. Here's my problem: I can't dorsoflex my ankle past a certain point and keep my heel on the ground, so I have to 'sit back' when doing these squats. My knees are in my armpits, my femurs are pressed into my torso - it's got to be my ankles. However, it really, honestly doesn't feel like a flexibility issue - rather, it feels like mobility of the joint. When I try to flex my knee forward and keep my heel on the ground, I don't feel any kind of stretch. Instead, I feel bone on bone - just complete inability to move the joint any further. This immobility is minor - isn't interfering with my life, and I'm sure I have better than average overall mobility/flexibility, but I'd really like to be able to break parallel on OHS without relying on shoes. Is it possible to just be structurally incapable? Does the sensation I'm experiencing (no stretch in the muscle - just a hard stop) mean I've hit a structural limit, or is there something I can do about it?
Thanks in advance for the help.