Have you ever taken a mobility class?
We believe that mobility, movement and your mindset has HUGE correlation to your performance. The way we help athletes do that is our simple
to use, easy to follow 15 minute mobility classes.
Whether that’s in day to day life or in sports performance.
Since 2008 I have religiously studied human movements, sports performance and the best stretching techniques to optimize mobility which
ultimately would optimize positioning for crossfit athletes , my NFL athletes, my busy working executives, high school athletes, you name it.
In this blog I’ll cover:
- How our mobility class works
- When mobility became a priority
- How we progress athletes
- How having better mobility in Crossfit will unlock your performance
- Why active stretching is the best for improving your mobility
We believe that mobility, having a clear mind and optimizing positioning should be a daily practice. If that’s you too learn more.
How Our Mobility Class Works
I grew up playing sports.
- I ran, swam, biked (later got into triathlons)
- Competed (still do) in Crossfit since 2011
- Play tennis, etc, etc
You get the point.
I have been extremely active my entire life.
However I never prioritized stretching. I first learned how to workout in 7th grade by following the legend P90X and would follow his workout
…however when the yoga day would come up I would skip it.
If I could go back in time I would have stretched and made mobility a part of my routine everyday!
Because I never stretched.
I wanted to just play the game or get straight to the workout.
When I Made Mobility A Priority & Started A Mobility Class
It wasn’t until I started training “Crossfit” style and needed to get into these demanding positions that I started prioritizing mobility.
- Overhead squats (knee, hip, ankle, t spine mobility)
- Front squat (front rack mobility)
- Clean and jerk/ Snatches
When you do the basics or hypertrophy training (nothing wrong with that–> never neglect the basics) that style of training just isn’t as demanding
as a heavy back squat or overhead squat.
See the example below.
Both movement mechanics are the same.
The goblet squat has identical movement patterns and is where we start all of our clients/athletes.
Then we show the extreme on the right hand side…
- muscular balance
How We Progress Athletes
There is a recipe of success when working with athletes to progress them in this order:
If you have poor movement patterns it’s the first thing that needs to be addressed to prevent injury.
If you have a lack of range of motion it needs to be addressed so you can get into proper positioning.
These are two things that we do in our daily mobility class.
We focus on improving your range of motion and strengthening your end range.
First we made sure you have adequate range of motion.
Now we want to focus on challenging the joint and your stabilization.
We do this by:
- doing a ton of unilateral (single arm or leg) exercises to make sure that your ankle, knee, hip, core, shoulders are strong and stable
Once you have done a ton of isometrics holds and focused on developing quality positions then we can focus on strength.
This is where everyone wants to skip too.
But did you notice the priority first?
If you are in this for the long game then you don’t want to skip that either.
Having adequate range of motion in your ankles, hips, t spine, shoulders, lats, wrist, toes, etc. so that when you:
You can move pain free and through full range of motion.
How Having Better Mobility In Crossfit Will Unlock Your Performance
I talked about this quite a bit above but it’s all about:
- and your work capacity
But most people skip positioning and efficiency.
They want to go straight to strength.
But most people don’t have optimal movement patterns. Let me show you what I’m talking about:
The image on the left my hands are over my head but not in a “stacked” position.
That could be due to a lack of thoracic spine mobility or just awareness.
Either way that position is not efficient.
The image on the right my bicep is right next to my ear (inline with my back) and that allows me to be stacked.
You could even think about…
…literally just standing. When you are standing, your feet are directly below your hips.
You want the same thing for your hands in a handstand.
Directly over your hips and shoulders.
Okay I understand positioning but what about efficiency?
They go hand and hand.
The better positioning you have the “easier” the movement is going to be.
Because you will be moving like a piston just going straight up in down. As opposed to fatiguing out muscles that are “over working” or over
See how this all goes back to having good mobility and why it’s important?
I work with people day in and day out with my personal training business and people aren’t coming to me for mobility.
Sure it’s a part of our workout but they are coming for a workout!
That’s one of the reasons I started a mobility class.
I wanted to be able to give my clients something that was obtainable for them to do on their own outside of our training session.
We talked about the importance of positioning and how that will learn to optimal efficiency which are the first two priorities.
…you want to get strong.
Very strong in THOSE positions.
Because strength is the price of admission.
Imagine doing a crossfit workout like Diane:
Deadlift and Handstand Push ups and you are supposed to use 225lbs for men and 155lbs for women.
If you max deadlift is only 250 lbs you are going to probably get hurt and just get crushed.
So you want to be strong and also know how to scale crossfit workouts to suit your fitness level.
We believe that being strong is a must.
We also believe that you should be able to lift a decent amount of weight with an elevated heart rate.
Don’t become a meat head and just lift weights.
We believe that mobility, strength, work capacity and your ability to take on anything thrown your way is the way to train. If that’s you too then
check out our online training programs (that includes daily mobility classes) here.
Why Active Stretching Is The Best For Improving Your Mobility (What We Do In Our Mobility Classes)
I talked about earlier how I never stretched growing up.
Then how once I got exposed to Crossfit how my lack of mobility was limiting my performance because I couldn’t get into good positions.
Well that’s when I went on a decade of research, testing, experimenting on what is the most effective mobility techniques.
I have tried everything from:
- banded joint distractions
- smr (self myfoscial release)
- voodoo floss
- active stretching (pails & rails)
I have experimented with popular companies:
- mobility wod
- mobility vs flexibility
- mobility vs stability
- mobility vs stretching
All of these different things right? haha
To be fair there is a TON that I learned from each modality of mobility, flexibility and stretching in general.
I also have learned to love it.
I believe the mobility training can be therapeutic and a place to focus on breathing, prayer and being calm.
I did yoga for years and I still love it to this day.
It’s calming, relaxing, challenging (if you want it to be) and a great way to unwind and calm down your nervous system after a workout.
The problem I had with yoga was it was challenging to make a class so I wasn’t consistent.
Consistency is key with anything.
Then I discovered the popular company romwod now known as pliability and I was able to do yoga from anywhere and just 15-20 minutes a day
which was perfect.
I really enjoyed this…
…however I wasn’t seeing the mobility progress that I wanted.
Banded Joint Distractions
This style of mobility I practiced (and still do) for years.
Popularized by the guru Kelly Starrett and his program Mobility Wod.
This taught me a lot.
And was pretty much a stepping stone to get into active stretching which is even better in my opinion.
The principles are similar but the difference I found with joint distractions versus active stretching is the strengthening part.
Banded joint distractions goal was to allow you to get into a better position for your crossfit workouts.
Active stretching goal is to lengthen and strengthen your end range of motion so you can be strong in the end range.
Active Stretching | Pails & Rails | FRC (We Use This In Our Mobility Class)
This is the style of mobility classes we do for not only our crossfit athletes but anyone wanting to improve their range of motion and strength.
We know that in order to make change it has to be something that can be done consistently and easy to follow.
That’s why our mobility classes are just 15 minutes per video and you can follow along from anywhere.
See for years I would get into a stretch and “camp out” for two minutes and just hold the position.
…that’s great and it feels good to lengthen the muscles but active stretching takes it a step further.
I ask you to get into the stretch, contract your muscles and then recruit the opposing muscle group to lengthen and strengthen.
We believe that doing 15 minute active stretching mobility classes is the most effective way to improve your mobility and “flexibility” take a class!
We talked about how our mobility program works (15 minute follow along videos) and how we guide you through the most effective techniques
we have learned since 2008.
Talked about the importance of getting athletes to:
- prioritize mobility first
- then focus on stability with unilateral (single arm and leg movements)
- coupling that with strength training so you can train proper movement patterns
I went over how I found active stretching to be the most effective.
My years of research, testing and experimenting with yoga, banded joint distractions, functional range conditioning, and more.
I learned from other great creators and teachers at gowod, romwod, pliability, Kelly starred and many others.
We believe that your success will come from something that you can do consistently and something you can enjoy while doing it. We also believe
in putting your best foot forward and optimize the time you do have available.