As people who train, especially people who have been training for years, we start to think we know what to do.
We know how to snatch, how to clean and jerk, how to kip pullups, and even how hard we can go in a WOD before we start to burn. The problem with knowing a lot is that you can tend to miss out on some of the minor details, the details that will push you past plateaus and further your success.
One of those ways is mobility.
For years I gave myself excuses, whether it be the fact that I was already pretty mobile (which I am), or that I didn’t have time, or that the only mobility I needed would come with trying to lift heavy barbells.
This worked for a while, but eventually you wear out all your brute natural strength and talent, and the only forward is on a new path.
So what kind of mobility should you be doing?
People do yoga, “stretching”, something I’ve heard called romWOD, all which are good, but really only a piece of the puzzle.
A). You need to do soft tissue work. Quality soft tissue work.
Laying around on a soft foam roller isn’t going to cut it. Muscles get stiff, tight, and stuck, and the only way to undo those things is through heavy pressure.
I do a lot of lacrosse ball work with specific places I have pin pointed on my body and it has really worked wonders. If you are going to foam roll make sure you invest in a roller that is of a hard enough material and will be able to produce pressure, not just give way, when you begin to roll out on it.
B). Banded Distractions
Strength bands are a lifesaver - well, a positional life saver that is. There is a ton of great content out there (see the video below), on ways to implement bands to mobilize and open up certain joints and they all have their place, find a system that works for you. What I can say with certainty is that after trying it out and being consistent, without a doubt banded distraction mobilizations have increased my positional integrity and in turn improved my strength and metcon numbers. It’s not fancy, but it’s essential.
So, if you think you have it all figured out, but have been struggling on certain movements for months, or just are in a workout rut, try out some mobility.
Do soft tissue work, do strength band work.
It feels good, mostly, and it will open you up (literally) to a whole new world of performance.