5 Simple Mobility Drills You Should Add To Your Training
Often, the importance of mobility gets overlooked, or the drills are just seen as a bit of an add-on to our session when the real focus is on us striving to hit the next PB or lift. But, the reality is that by building strong foundations and focusing on mobility we can actually be more efficient with our lifting and ultimately improve our overall performance and strength.
For example, tight hips will hold you back in movements such as squats and lunges and a tight back and shoulders will inhibit your front and overhead squats. Improving hip mobility will help you sit up straighter to improve your leverage. Improving your mobility in your upper thoracic and lats will help you move your shoulders with more flexibility and get your elbows up higher for movements which require rack positions.
So, if hitting PBs is your goal then investing in your mobility will actually help you get there faster and more safely too. Mobility in CrossFit and Functional fitness is essential to help you become more flexible, avoid injury and strengthen your core.
There are SO many mobility drills to invest your time in, and it’s always important to do drills that relate to the WODs and movements you are doing in a specific session, but here are 5 simple mobility drills to add to your training.
Kneeling Rocker – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMB8VVKIc-Q
This one is great for plantar flexion mobility. We use our feet and ankles all the time in various WODs so it’s important we are flexible and mobile in both these areas. Try adding this drill to your routine regularly – it can reduce the risks of rolling your ankle and will make sure you are properly warm. To get into position for this one, kneel down on the floor with the top of your foot flat against the floor before placing your hands at the side of you for support. Then push your hips forward and backwards and rock gently putting gentle pressure on the tops of your feet as you rock. It’s important (as with every mobility drill) to stay within your limits and listen to your body. Don’t overdo the pressure or overextend the ankles.
Upper Thoracic Extension stretch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojCkd6_VdNk
Thoracic extension is vital to have a full overhead range of motion as well as just improving our daily standing posture and reducing common back complaints. So, for this one you can grab a box from the gym (or any stable surface of a similar height). Kneel down in front of the box keeping your knees wide with and then place your hands on the box out in front of you about shoulder distance apart – this is your ‘relaxed kneeling position’. Then, keeping your spine straight allow your head to relax through the space between your arms and shift your bum back towards your heels to extend your back fully and straighten your arms out in front of you – this is your extended position. Make this movement dynamic and shift slowly backwards and forwards to move gently through the extension and relaxed position.
Standing Hip CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNMW_h-fzLg
Good hip mobility will improve so many movements in the box and in your every day life – with over 15 muscles associated with the hips working together at the joint it’s understandable that if we have poor mobility here we will also struggle with a wide range of movements. A tight hip is a weak hip and ignoring tight hips can lead to pain and more problems down the line if left unchecked. So, this mobility drill is a great one and it’s easy to do from anywhere! Leaning against the rig or a wall for support, bend the leg furthest from the rig and raise up from the floor and around in slow circles all the way around. Start my moving your knee in to a high knee position before circling the knee outward and back.
Deep Lunge With Rotation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7VMYyET9Zs
This is the second hip mobility movement in our list but it is an essential mobility movement in our opinion. It is great for getting a good flexion and extension throughout the hips and releasing tight or locked hips. So, exactly as it sounds step forward into a deep lunge on your left leg and then rotate your torso to the left, raising your left arm towards the ceiling as high as you can before rotating and stretching back through to place your elbow to the floor (or as close as you can get it to the floor) for a full rotation before repeating on the other side.
Plank Push Up Position Hold – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2GP8YXoN-A
Many people struggle with wrist mobility and getting a good range of movement in rack positions. So, to work on improving your wrist mobility this is a great drill. Get into a straight arm plank position and turn your hands inward so your finger tips point towards your toes (or as far towards your toes as you can). Hold this position for increasing amounts of time (start off with just a few seconds before relaxing hands forward and gradually build to 20 second holds). You can always begin this movement from your knees and progress to a full plank if wrist mobility is very poor to begin with.
By adding these drills to your training routine you will gradually start to build up your mobility and flexibility in some really key areas of your body for performing your favourite CrossFit movements better!
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