By: Jenessa Connor
With the Open less than a month away, things are getting a little serious around the box. We’re all paying a bit more attention to movement standards and confronting our GOATs head-on. We’re taking the time to fine-tune our engines and fit in that accessory work.
But what about mobility? In the January/February issue of The Box magazine, D.P.T.s Kelly Starrett and (our very own!) Shante Cofield addressed how lacking full range of motion may be causing you to leave PRs on the table.
“The best example is that person who’s trying to do an overhead squat and they’re just struggling to squat down,” Cofield explains. “That’s energy that’s being used to fight against their own body. When people gain mobility and they have this freedom of motion and they can just get into the squat, they suddenly have this whole reserve of energy to direct into performing the lift as opposed to bleeding energy just trying to get into the position.”
Wouldn’t you rather use that energy to lift more and go faster? Here are a few things you can do to improve your movement efficiency and prevent injury.
- For every hour-long workout, spend 10-15 minutes on mobilization.
- Your mobility work should complement your training. For example, if you’re squatting, be sure to address the hips and ankles.
- Your practice should incorporate:
- Targeted pressure and foam rolling. However, keep any pre-workout foam rolling short and sweet, and save extensive foam rolling for post-workout mobilization.
- Joint “flossing.” This will help open up restricted joint capsules. Check out The Movement Maestro’s video for banded hip mobilization.
- Stretching. BUT, there’s a difference between the kind of stretching that’s pointless and the kind that’s effective, according to Coach Shante: “You can lie on your back and hold up your leg, but you want to make sure that you’re also squeezing your quad for 10 to 15 seconds and then contracting your hamstring so that you’re getting some nervous system activation.” Contracting the muscles in this way during a stretch is like “hitting the save button” and telling your body “we own this range of motion.”
- If you find yourself grimacing or holding your breath at any time, back off. A stretch or movement that’s too intense will only send an “ALERT!” message to your nervous system, and you won’t make any progress.
- Get to mobility class! If you’re not sure what you should be doing, get a little guidance. We hold a mobility class every Sunday afternoon at 11:00 a.m.
Now, who’s ready to take on the 2016 Open?!