L is for Lunge Test

November 22, 2012

The lunge test is a weightbearing test for the ankle joint range of motion.

The lunge test for ankle dorsiflexion is a simple assessment used to measure the range of motion (ROM) in ankle dorsiflexion. It helps evaluate the flexibility and mobility of the ankle joint. Here’s how the test is performed:

  1. Preparation: Find an open space where you can take a step forward comfortably. You may also need a measuring tool, such as a ruler or measuring tape, to quantify the range of motion.
  2. Starting Position: Stand facing a wall or a sturdy surface, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one foot approximately one foot length away from the wall, positioning it so that your toes are slightly elevated.
  3. Test Execution: Keeping your heel on the ground, bend your knee and try to touch the wall or the surface in front of you with your knee. Maintain an upright posture and avoid lifting your heel or letting it roll inward.
  4. Measurement: Measure the distance between the wall or surface and the tip of your big toe. This measurement represents the amount of ankle dorsiflexion achieved during the test.
  5. Repeat: Perform the test with the other foot as well to assess both ankles.

Interpreting the Results:

The lunge test provides a quantitative measure of ankle dorsiflexion. The normative values for ankle dorsiflexion can vary depending on the individual and the specific requirements of their activities. However, generally, a range of 10-15 centimeters (or approximately 4-6 inches) is considered normal for the lunge test.

If an individual demonstrates less than the desired range, it may indicate limited ankle dorsiflexion or tightness in the calf muscles or other structures around the ankle. This restriction can have implications for functional activities such as walking, running, squatting, or participating in sports that require adequate ankle mobility.

The lunge test is a simple screening tool and should not be used as the sole diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about your ankle mobility or if you experience pain or limitations in your daily activities, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or orthopedic specialist, who can perform a comprehensive evaluation and provide appropriate treatment or further assessment if needed. They can also guide you with specific exercises and interventions to improve ankle mobility and address any underlying issues.


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