The Need For Mobility

You guys have heard me ramble on and on and on and on about the importance of mobility, likely to the point where it's borderline annoying. Well, I've been annoying since I could talk so I'm not stopping now. And if you are dedicated to improving your performance, you'll embrace the importance of mobility.

I wanted to provide some quick anecdotal evidence supporting my stance on this issue. In training for the Blue Ridge Open, I was having some trouble with my split jerk - my lockout was poor, my shoulders and elbows were soft, bad posture, etc. It's no secret that my thoracic spine was lacking in mobility. So, I decided to be proactive about it. I began doing this routine from Mark's Daily Apple to improve my thoracic mobility (hat tip to Nate Nash for the link). With only a few weeks of work, the results were significant.

Both lifts are within 5lbs of each other and as you can clearly see in the first picture, my torso is leaning backwards to compensate for my tight upper back and shoulders. In the second picture, my torso is upright, my shoulders are back, the barbell is over my midline, and I look just plain fantastic in a singlet. All three of my jerk attempts at the meet were successful and solid - I actually wish I tried for a little more on my third attempt. Obviously, improving my mobility in that area paid dividends at the competition.

I continue to do the above-mentioned routine daily, as I sit at a desk for 10-hour shifts and my posture still isn't optimal. So take the time to think about which movements you have problems with. Chances are, your ability to perform them is being hindered by a mobility issue.

Currently, I'm researching/learning different assessments to test for mobility impairments so when I have more, I'll be sure to let you guys know...

1 comment:

  1. I've been dealing with this exact same problem for several years. Thanks for this post, it's very helpful. Couple questions for you though:

    How long did it take for you to see improvement in mobility? Was there noticeable improvement in your overhead position immediately after the routine?

    And was there a specific drill from the routine you posted that garnered the most benefit? It seems like most time should be spent on the thoracic extensions on the foam roller and double-lacrosse ball to improve thoracic extension, which is my main problem.

    Thanks again for the post, I'm starting the routine right now! Hopefully I see the same improvement you did!