Mobility is not just stretching, but most think that stretching will help us get into better positions when working through a tough WOD. Mobility in fitness terms can be seen as the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments ability to move through a complete range of motion without restriction. It is not just the muscles stretching that is gets your body in the right positions during a workout.
The main issues that I see mobility wise in our gym are Shoulders, Hips and Ankles. Most people have problems with just one of those areas, but at times I have seen a complete train wrecks where they have all three.
Here are my three favorite mobility exercises that can help create some more range of motion through each of these body parts.
This is a combo session. One movement involves a lacrosse ball and the other a band. Doing both back to back on each shoulder will create some serious range of motion. A reasonable timeline for improvement here if done every day would be 60-90 days.
External Rotation Smash with Lacrosse Ball: Start with about tw minutes on each side.
Banded Bully Stretch – Two minutes minimum on each arm
Jobs that require a lot of sitting has ruined most people hips. When your hip flexors are tight, it can really limit the range of motion you can pass through, and at times will cause a good bit of pain when trying to squat. This simple movement will use a band and a mat but if done every day can also create some serious change within 60-90 days.
Banded Hip Opener – Start with a minimum of two mintues on each leg.
Ankles are almost never seen as the problem for most people. We will try to say it is my hips or my hamstrings and glutes are tight. This is why I cannot squat low or why I lean over when I squat. Also, a lot of lower leg pain or injury has been linked to tight ankles. Ankles are annoying to work on and take a lot of work to do it, because of this the time to change takes a bit longer than other areas. If this was done every day, you could expect to see some decent change in range of motion in about six months.
Banded Ankle Distraction – Two sets of two minutes on each foot for bad ankles.
There is one thing you will notice with these mobility exercises, time to change. Each one takes a good amount of time and application before you see any change. This is the reason why people who have been coming to class for five years and still cannot overhead squat or squat on their toes. No one wants to put in the time to increase their mobility, but everyone wants to complain about not having it.