Mobility for CrossFitters
Kelly Starrett from MobilityWOD describes mobilisation as, ‘a movement-based integrated full-body approach that addresses all the elements that limit movement and performance including short and tight muscles, soft tissue restriction, joint capsule restriction, motor control problems, joint range of motion dysfunction, and neural dynamic issues. In short, mobilisation is a tool to globally address movement and performance problems.” (www.mobilitywod.com)
CrossFitters use mobilisation to gain a greater range of motion to improve their CrossFit experience. It also helps to work through niggling muscle soreness, tightness and decreased flexibility after intense WODs (Workouts Of the Day). Mobility combines stretching with active movements, band work, rolling, trigger point release and isolated stretches.
CFHE encourages all members to spend time mobilising before or after a workout, or at home when you find a spare 10-15 minutes to work through some mobility homework.
Here are 6 of the top mobility exercises thanks to MobilityWOD. ‘Spend just two minutes a day on each move – the 10 minute squat requires more time, of course —and make sure to contract and relax in each position. Also, test your range of motion before and after. You should notice improvements almost immediately.’
1. Posterior hip mobilization
On all fours, position a stretching band around one quad, then place that foot in front of the opposite knee. Oscillate your hip against the band’s pull. GOOD FOR: Loosening up a stiff hip capsule or whenever you are in hip flexion.
2. Shoulder extension, external rotation
Place your hand through a stretching band and rotate your palm up. Grip the band and lean back, stretching your arm above your head and engaging the lat muscle. GOOD FOR: Opening up shoulder joints.
3. Anterior hip mobilization
Place the stretching band around one quad’s hip crease and stretch that leg back, placing the knee on the ground and slowly rotating the hip forward. GOOD FOR: Loosening up tight hip flexors.
4. Ankle dorsiflexion
Standing up, place stretching band just above the ankle and step forward with that leg. Move knee forward and oscillate outward. Repeat facing the other direction. GOOD FOR: Ankle flexibility, which helps save runners tremendous energy.
5. 10-minute deep-squat test
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower your hips to your ankles, making sure to keep your feet flat on the ground. Remain in that position for 10 minutes, moving slightly to stimulate circulation. GOOD FOR: Increasing mobility in the ankles, knees, and hips.
6. Couch stretch
Start on all fours with your feet against the wall. Raise one leg so the shin and foot lie flat against the wall, then step the other leg forward, foot beneath you. Engage glutes, quads, and hip flexors by arching and relaxing your back. GOOD FOR: Opening up the entire anterior muscle chain, allowing you to fully extend your hips, knees, and ankles.