Now that you have been in the world of CrossFit Collingwood for a couple of months you may have heard us harping on about the fact that mobility is a very important piece of the health and fitness puzzle. In fact we may have already given you some specific mobility exercises for you to start working on but why is it such an important piece of the puzzle? What is mobility?
By definition and in its simplest form – Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Whether in CrossFit or in life, who wouldn’t want that!
Now – with a little more depth to the explanation….
Mobility is a broad concept that comprises join range of motion (ROM), muscular tension, soft tissue and joint capsule restrictions, adhesions, tendon resilience, neuromuscular coordination, proprioception, the biomechanics or positioning, and knowledge of the proper form for a movement. It includes stabilization, too, created by muscular balance and strength – particularly core strength to protect the spine – and ligament tautness.
What’s the difference between stretching and mobility?
According to Dr. Kelly Starrett (a guru of mobility in the crossfit world), stretching only focuses on lengthening short and tight muscles. Mobilisation, on the other hand, is 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 layman’s terms, mobilisation is a tool to globally address movement and performance problems.
Why is mobility important?
Mobility exercises help us move our limbs through their full range of motion, eliminating restrictions and improving our ability to attain optimal positioning during movements.
In the box, increased mobility means greater ability to achieve proper form in the set-up and to sustain better form during a movement which translates into greater power output and more productive WODs.
Outside of the box, increased mobility means you can bend down to pick up the 32 pack of bottled water from the grocery shelf, carry it to your shopping cart and with ease, place it on the bottom rack. It means you can chase down that ten dollar note that the wind abruptly ripped from your hand.
So let me guess, I have so many more questions!
What mobility exercises should I do?
When should I do mobility exercises?
How long each day should spend doing mobility exercises?
How do I know if the mobility exercises are working?
All fantastic questions, but lets start with some knowledge. Here are a few resources I discovered on my knowledge seeking journey:
Mobility Wod is Kelly Starrett’s website which features a new mobility video every day. The video library is extensive and easily searchable.
How Kelly Starrett’s Mobility Seminar Ruined Me is a blog post by Danette “Dizzle” Rivera, which shares her perspective after having participated in Kelly’s seminar. It was both humorous and informative.
Becoming a Supple Leopard is Kelly Starrett’s guide to resolving pain, preventing injury and optimizing athletic performance. We have a copy at the box.
So lets finish up.
Check with your coaches as we can always help you out. As your health and fitness journey continues, you will start to learn more and more about your body and what it needs to do to function optimally each day.
Do not try and become a supple leopard in one day, this journey you have started will continue until you die, their is no rush, just a little effort each and everyday to becoming the best version of yourself possible.