By Cody Lockridge
I talk to many athletes who aspire to be better than what they are now. Some have goals with a heavier a Back Squat, or better Squat Clean. I often ask what the number one thing holding them back is. Nine times out of ten the answer is Mobility! Naturally I follow up with, Have you been doing your homework outside of the gym? “Not as much as I should” is a typical response.
One thing I have learned as an athlete, is that if I want to get better at a skill or movement I need to spend time either practicing or being in that position. For example, If I have trouble in the bottom of a squat I need to spend time in that bottom until I feel comfortable in that position. Understand, this does not mean I need to spend hours working on mobility, a little bit goes a long way. If you have an extra 5 minutes during lunch, before or after class, while you are watching TV, or maybe you have been sitting at your desk for too long and need an excuse to move, these are great times to work on your mobility.
Keep it simple. This does not have to be a complicated process or movements. An easy one to do any where is the couch stretch. Placing your knee in the corner of the floor and wall, your other leg in a lunge position while keeping the core tight try and sit up straight. This will undo a lot of sitting that we do during the day, and may reduce some pains we may also have. I, personally, am a fan of the Voodoo floss. One reason is you can take the floss anywhere you go. It is small and easy to carry around. Sitting at you desk all day, you can floss the knee, wrist, elbow, foot, ankle, and quads. Although wrapping the floss around yourself can be tricky, with practice you will quickly get the hang of it. Of course, this is just a little piece of the pie, there are many other options to choose from. Maybe banded distraction with shoulder or hip mobility, roll around on a foam roller, or grab some YTU balls and roll around on those.
I think the big takeaway from this should be you have to do your homework, and be aware of the time you have to mobilizes on these problems areas. Again, even if you have 5-10 minutes during lunch break, or you typically have time at the gym these are great times to do the work yourself in order to work on those positions you just simply cannot get your body into. You have great resources with your coaches to ask questions, and get other ideas of other mobility options you may not know about. Let’s start taking what we know and applying it. Start doing your homework. You can either make moves or make excuses, we all have the same 24 hours in the day. Take advantage or the extra time you have and do something good for the body, you only get one.