Mobility Abounds!

It's no secret that I'm a fiend for mobility. Why? Because yours sucks. Don't worry, most everyone's does. Even mine. And I'm awesome. Fitness, or better yet, the general improvement of overall health revolves around more than just the "workout of the day." Exercise, sleep, nutrition, etc - these are all just pieces to the puzzle. Mobility is just another piece, yet one of the most often overlooked.

The human body is amazingly capable of adaptation - varying temperatures, changing foods, elevated stress, and unique movement patterns as well. Depending on where your inefficiencies lay, your body will do whatever it has to in order to help you do whatever crazy nonsense you're doing. Not using your glutes during deadlifts? Your body will call on your lower back and hamstrings to bear more of the load. We can only get away with this for so long until our progress stalls, or worse, we get injured. Improving mobility can have almost immediate implications on strength, speed, power, and movement efficiency.

After class one day, Cram asked if I could help her stretch her hamstrings. Since I'm such a gentleman, I obliged. Nick took some pictures as we did a little test/retest.


I took her through a pretty basic PNF stretch sequence. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation - see it in action here.


That's a pretty significant change for less than two minutes of stretching. This isn't permanent, though, so Cram will have to continue working towards improving her hamstrings.

It should be said that PNF is not a comfortable experience. But to be honest, if something is easy, then it probably doesn't work. "Look, facilitating the muscles...it's like a dogfight. You need to be ready to bite down on a bullet. You need to fight tooth and nail for this. And you need to go after it seriously. It's not pleasant and mobilizing should never be pleasant." -Kelly Starrett

If you find yourself stalling, plateauing, or just feel like you're not getting the most out of your body's potential, it's not always a strength or "lung" issue. A lot of times you're limited by your own crap-ass range-of-motion. So make an effort to resolve this issue. Sign up for one of Lauren Polivka's Functional Movement Screens, foam roll before class, stretch after class, go to one of Michael Hall's yoga classes, peruse K-Starr's awesome mobility blog, or just ask me what you suck at. I'm sure I'll have an answer.

All kidding aside, this stuff is important. Because...

Mobility is serious business.

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