There was a time when mobility was the odd kid in the corner nobody would talk to. Most folks just acted like he didn’t exist. Today, mobility is the most popular kid in class.
Kelly’s creation, Mobility WOD, has truly has changed the game for the better. Drastically better in fact. Athletes who once could not, all of the sudden can. K-star, in all his glory, has given the community a means to end a laundry list of accumulated issues. But even Kelly will tell you, Mobility is a stroke within a much broader painting.
Don’t think for a second that I am dismissing the incredible need for mobility and all that comes with it. This isn’t a “stop mobilizing” piece, it’s a “don’t make everything about mobility” piece. More and more, “bad mobility” is becoming an excuse for a wealth of other issues.
Overcoming fear is success. But you can’t half-ass confrontation.
A few days ago I watched as an athlete work up to a heavy jerk. Rep after rep was relatively immaculate. He was moving well, fast and dominate. A new weight, a PR now loaded. He moved, he failed. While leaving the bar the athlete said, “damn tight shoulders”.
Before he could walk away from the bar I asked him to try it again. I sort of…insinuated(shouted), that his miss had nothing to do with mobility and all to do with “mindability”. After a significant amount of provocation, goading, and zero mobility, he got pissed off, he got fearless, and he hit another immaculate rep. “PR”.
Fear is blessing when defeated, contagious when excused.
It’s true, adding strength to dysfunction is a plunge one may not recover from. It’s also true, that there is no supplement or cure, for a lack of raw strength.
Before you place blame on those tight hamstrings, gummy hips, or slouchy shoulders look at the strength of your mid-line, or posterior or whatever else that needs special attention. Sure handstand push are hard when you can’t get your arms over your head, but if your just not strong enough to push your self up, then and no amount of band tug-o-war will fix that.
Don’t confuse the foundational need for mobility with the equally foundation need for strength. Strength is gained with consistently lifting heavier an heavier things, constantly dedicating auxiliary work to squelch weaknesses, and scheduling enough time for recovery.
A lack of suppleness can make for a smorgasbord of technical errors, but a lack of practice can make even the most mobile human being tentative, and stiff.
When repetition after repetition has yet to be logged the body may just sort of say “no”. And it won’t sound like an outright refusal, it will be more like the nagging whisper of an overprotective mother. Once you have hit rather technical movements over and over again, you will be more able to recognize if it truly is mobility, or or just a learning curve.
Maybe your cries are correct, and maybe your ankles really are just lite up tight. But are tight ankles the disease, or the symptom.
You can reach the status of ultra immobility by sitting at a desk all day, or you could be Quasimodo because of what you eat….obviously. A lack of water or electrolytes is a breeding ground for poor tissue quality, and eating anti-nutrients contained in grains, dairy and legumes will impair the absorption of minerals making the system feel far less flexible than it really is. And don’t even think about fruit. Fruit can disrupt PH levels enhancing disorders that attack the joints.
So, again, yes, your immobile today….becasue of dinner yesterday.
A perfect diet and immaculate training, is worthless if you don’t sleep. In fact, the metabolic panel of someone who sleeps 5 hours of less every night, regardless of the rest of their lifestyle, has been shown to look like that of a diabetic.
Before you get up early for an extra mobility session, before you stay up late to get all frisky with a lacrosse ball, look back a few weeks or a month. If sleep has been your Achilles heel, then stop stretching three hours a day, and start sleeping.
There is little substitute for a well put together pre and post-workout loosen up session. But don’t let mobility become a catch-all excusing proper technique, diet adherence, or anything else. Simply, make mobility one tool, use it wisely and often, and reap the rewards.
*Recover precisely (15) seconds between singles. A “set” is (5) singles. There are three total “sets” consisting of (15) total reps.
**Rest (3) minutes between sets.
AMRAP 10 Minutes
*Shuttle run consists of a 20′ sprint, then back to start. Followed by a 50′ sprint, back to start. Then 100′ sprint and back to start.
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