This is an important question. What are you doing right now to prepare for your next training session?
You probably know the WOD well. Time, place, wardrobe, warm-up, etc. – That’s somewhat routine, right? But what about everything else? You know, the majority of your life. How do you spend all that time? As an athlete, how much time are you devoting daily to mobility and restoration?
The troubling answer for just about everyone is – Not nearly enough!
Alright today’s splits work. People always ask me if I get bored doing the same mobility work over and over. My answer…yes, it does drive me crazy. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and hoping different results? Well what’s the definition of consistency then? If you want to get better at something you should practice it often. But…remember this has all been about the backbend (go back to previous posts). Today instead of finishing with my splits, for the first time in 5+ weeks I tried out the backbend. In my post later I will talk about this more but for now enjoy the progress!
As Dr. Roop describes on the show, we are all very good at racing from 0 to 60 in the gym, but we are TERRIBLE at cooling our engines down after. When the WOD is done we usually grab our crap and rush home immediately, through traffic, to bedtime TV and work email exchanges. It’s no wonder we sometimes fail to reach our performance goals. We aren’t very kind to our bodies. Worse still, we typically do not spend the balance of our time outside the gym as well as we might think. We move very little, instead of all the time as nature intends. We cast ourselves within domesticated environments, mostly hunched over tiny little HD screens for hours on end.Sure, you go to the gym in the afternoon or whatever, but you also spend those other 23 hours a day slouched, stressed, or distracted in some way. When we get clever, we still make obvious mistakes. For example, if you’ve ever traded in your chair for a standing desk you should be aware that the act of standing is itself sedentary. There’s no magic here, but there’s also no overt danger to sitting down. There are also no secrets to improving your shape, apart from this… If your mobility still sucks after all those banded stretches and what not, you have to consider that you are not moving NEARLY enough in your everyday life. If the balance of your time really is still spent folded, tight, and stressed with shallow chest breaths, that’s the shape you will automatically take when you get fatigued. That’s probably what’s fucking up your performance. Once you understand that your best posture is your next posture – that the only secret is moving well, more often – that’s when you’ll start to find a better shape. The balance will be in your favor.
Watch Dr. Roop and Kelly smash some tight lats.
Start with time. At a minimum, you should be working on your mobility for 15-20 minutes a day, every day. This should be doubled for every hard training session you perform. Don’t focus on everything that’s lacking from your day. Instead, think of positive things you can add. Sit in the squat position for 5 minutes. Swim more often. Go for short walks throughout the day. Spend some time rolling around on the floor, it’s one of the easiest ways to find tight tissues. If you feel pain while flopping around then you need to spend a lot more time working on your soft-tissues. Get some massage, use mobility tools to dig deep. Rumble roll your thighs into submission, whatever you want. Just make sure that you reach the deep tissues, which means it should definitely not be fun. But that said, just rolling around casually on a nice, soft foam roller isn’t going to do much. A lack of cumulative time, focus and intensity in your mobility work might explain your lack of progress.
Our supreme goal in the gym, regardless of training goal, is to improve economy of motion. It doesn’t matter if you’re squatting 800 pounds, tossing wall-balls, or walking down the street, the less you work against yourself, the better.
Carve out time DAILY to working tight tissues, then immediately work no strengthening the opposite musculature to stabilize your new position. That’s a much more effective strategy. But you also have to consider your timing.
It’s a big mistake to lay around on the floor and roll before your train, but why?
The obvious answer is that a dynamic series of warm-up drills is superior to lounging around under the Rogue rig for a half-hour. The less obvious thing is stimulus this represents.
When you work the soft tissues you trigger your parasympathetic nervous system into action. This leads to nesting and rest, digestion, sexual arousal, all of which are amazing, but not before you take on Fran.
Check out our FREE guide showing you exactly how to mobilize to squat deeper for the OHS. Click the image above to download now.
Spend more time searching for your next best posture, and carve out time every day, after training, to work on those tight areas. If you can do that you’re almost sure to see some dramatic increases in performance and your quality of life.
Roop, we had a great time at Invictus. And let me say, you are one of the few people who can give Mike Bledsoe beard envy. Let’s do it again soon in San Fran.
- Follow Dr. Roop on Instagram for great mobility tips. You can also keep up all the latest from MobilityWOD on Facebook and their seminar site.
- Erase pain and improve your mobility – Episode 167 with Jill Miller.
- Want an amazing introduction to mobility training? Check out our Maximum Mobility Course.