Your CFSR coaches have been inspired. By Kelly Starrett. Starrett is the quirky and entertaining owner of San Francisco CrossFit as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. When it comes to flexibility and mobility, and their impact on athletic performance, injury, and pain, he knows his stuff.
He says that: “Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. You know what to eat, how to train, and what to do if you have a cut; you should also know how to fix your tight hips, painful knees, and stiff shoulders, and how to make yourself faster and more powerful. It’s too much to mobilize everything, all the time, everyday. Start somewhere.” So he started posting mobility WODs on his new blog, that are “intended as a jump off point for athletes to systematically begin to address their nasty tissues and grody joint mobility.”
This is just what we need.
So, we’re going to be adding mobility work to the beginning of our regular classes. The first ten minutes of class are for the regular warmup that we have on the board, followed immediately by about five minutes of mobility work. The mobility exercise(s) will be the same for a whole week at the beginning of class and we will post video and description for you to check out here on the blog.
Starrett’s approach to mobility is that we do mobility therapy to see results. So, along with all the mobility exercises, he does a “check and recheck”. Usually this is a movement or lift to check what your range of motion is in a certain direction. This is done at the very beginning of the mobility WOD (or “MWod”). Then, you do the MWod that addresses that range of motion, and recheck after to see if you’ve improved. Visible results, just like raising a PR or getting faster!
You may run into some words that you don’t know. There are a lot of muscle names, anatomical directions, etc. thrown around. This is a chance for you to get more educated about your body. Look in the anatomy books we have for you at the gym. Look up the muscle name on Google or Wikipedia, and use the dictionary for words like “adductor” and “posterior” if they’re unfamiliar. It’s awesome to know new things about that miraculous vehicle you live in! Enjoy!
This Week’s MWod
Watch the video, (it’s “Episode 64: Heavy Met Con Prep”) the stuff we want starts at minute 4:17 and goes to the end.
1. First piece: Shoulder Capsule mobilization. Band doubled over Pullup bar, wrist in band loops. Be sure to rotate the whole arm, wind it inward, then load it. Rotation here is important. Upon loading, we are moving down – arm is mobilizing posteriorly – and including the entire side of the torso…we’re both getting range of motion in the shoulder capsule (as Starrett calls it) as well as stretching the “lat” (latissimus dorsi) muscle on the side. Latissimus Dorsi is a strong shoulder adductor – it pulls the shoulder in and back. Alternate stretching hard and then lightening up on the tension. Both arms, 1 minute each side.
2. Second piece: First and second rib mobilization. Get a lacrosse ball, lay down with the ball nestled between shoulder and neck (right there at the top of your back). This is the first and second rib area. Yup, you’ve got ribs up there. All your thoracic vertebra have ribs attached to them. Once the ball is nestled up there between spine and shoulder blade (scapula), push into the ball. Take the arm on that side and move it up next to your face so that your bicep is right up against your ear. Yup, you’re rotating the shoulder inward again, just like the band stretch you just did. Not only are you trying to get some movement of the first and second ribs, but you’re also working the belly of the trapezius muscle (the “traps”). Work your arm around a bit, find your crunchy, painful places with the ball. Both shoulders, 1 minute each side.