Get Serious About Your Movement.
So you just started CrossFit and are quickly realizing your mobility sucks. Don’t worry you’re not alone. If there is one common denominator between all CrossFit newbies, it’s their lack of mobility and restricted range of motion in most, if not all joints. But fear not my future firebreathers, I’m here to help!
Creating range of motion.
So when asked how to improve mobility the answer that most people assume is correct is; “You have to stretch”. This is true, however this is only part of the answer. It’s not just about stretching, it’s about how you’re stretching, what you’re stretching and what it is you’re stretching for. Are you stretching in a structured way that makes sense or just watching what everyone else is doing? Are you stretching the muscle only or are you opening up the joint capsule as well? Are you stretching as part of preparation before competition or as part of your recovery? These are all questions that should be addressed when it comes to your mobility routines.
Groove the pattern.
As a result of limited mobility you’ve probably been moving in dysfunctional patterns for most of your life. Now those patterns may not seem so harmful outside the gym however when you start adding weight and increasing movement and speed, things change very quickly. Creating the new range of motion is step 1, but grooving a new pattern in the brain to recognize and use that new range, is step 2. The brain learns through repetition but it does not distinguish between good and bad patterns. Whatever you make it do most, is what it will become efficient in doing. Unless you practice (groove) the proper pattern enough, when you’re tired and weak ¾ of the way through your workout you will default to that old dysfunctional pattern.
If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Just as you weren’t born with limited range of motion, you lost it over a lifetime of moving less. Just because you go through trouble of increasing your range and grooving new patterns it doesn’t mean it will stay forever. You have to continuously work on your mobility the same way you would your strength, power or anything else. It’s important to keep your mobility as much of a priority as your CrossFit training. You can get better at mobility without CrossFit, but you can’t get better at CrossFit without mobility.
If you want it, you gotta go get it!
(Next mobility seminar is Saturday November 23rd 2013. Sign up to learn more about maintenance and recovery between your WODS and get some personal treatment on the table).