You get to the gym five minutes early, put your stuff in the locker room, grab a foam roller and roll out for a couple minutes before class. An hour later class ends and you have somewhere you need to be so you rush out of the gym right after the workout. We are all guilty of this. Life is busy and hectic and there never feels like there is enough time in the day. However, if you can dedicate an hour of your day to a grueling workout, then you should do your body the service of 10-15 minutes of mobilizing as well. Your body will thank you after those tough CrossFit workouts and you will even recover faster and prevent possible injuries. Here’s a challenge for you. Can you accumulate 10 minutes in a full squat position?
I’ve done this challenge multiple times and it’s amazing how difficult it can be. The majority of us are so used to spending most of our day in the sitting position, whether you work in an office behind a desk, have long commutes in your car, or even sitting in front of the TV for long periods. There are multiple studies that show sitting for prolonged periods of time can even cause low back pain due to the static posture maintained in the sitting position, which can add large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. Don’t even get me started on the body position of being slouched over the keyboard or sinking down in the chair for extended periods. Also, as mentioned by Kelly Starrett in the video above, he states that there is very little hip disease, low back pain, and disc disease in countries where people sit in the squatted position and even sleep on the ground.
Kelly Starrett is a physical therapist who focuses on performance based Orthopedic Sports Medicine and has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance. He is the writer of the New York Times bestselling book Becoming a Supple Leopard. This book lays out a blueprint for athletes from all backgrounds and disciplines, offering clear, concise methods for limiting pain and injury risks, keeping the body at peak efficiency, and reaching one’s maximum potential. There is a copy of this book at the gym and I highly recommend anyone to read through it. He also has countless YouTube videos and even a mobility program called MobilityWOD, which posts a daily follow along WOD video lasting 10-15 minutes of mobility exercises. If you are looking for something more specialized you can search the catalog, which includes over 200 hours of comprehensive movement, mechanics, mobility, and general health and fitness videos. There is a small fee for the MobilityWOD subscription or you can search for some of his countless videos on YouTube.
Another excellent type of mobility exercise to add to your programming is ROMWOD/yoga, which is offered at the gym on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30pm. Lorena, who is a founding member of CrossFit 727, has been teaching yoga at the gym and has recently incorporated ROMWOD to her sessions. ROMWOD helps to increase range of motion in order to generate power and promote efficiency of functional movements through improved position and posture. This is done through many different stretching exercises that strengthens the ligaments and tendons which in turn accelerates recovery time between workouts.
Also, feel free to use any of the “torture devices” at the gym in order to help mobilize. I have found that spending as little as 5 minutes on trouble areas with the lacrosse ball has not only worked out kinks but, I believe, prevented further injury by rolling out the lactic acid build up within those strained muscles.
Everything is connected
Here’s a hot tip: For example, you could be suffering from ongoing knee pain and not realizing it was caused from the thrusters you did in the workout earlier in the week and because your weight was on your toes (let’s admit it, not all of our form is perfect 100% when we are going hard during a CrossFit workout, sorry Ryan!!) your quads are now tight and guess what – the tight quad muscles are now pulling your knee and potentially causing the knee pain. Or, lets say you are experiencing shoulder pain. This could be caused from tight lats or even tight biceps. The problem may originate upstream or downstream of the pain point. Everything is connected in our bodies so if you do experience pain, think of what movements or workouts could have attributed to that pain so you can narrow down the source and mobilize those areas better going forward. You can always ask one of the coaches if you are experiencing pain in a particular area and we will help you find the source.
I hope to see you all, myself included, spending a little more time mobilizing before and after the workouts!