Is It a Mobility Issue -or- Just a Warm Up Issue?!
Often times, I’ll have clients tell me they can’t do something because of “mobility issues.” This is a term thrown around like confetti.
Whether it’s pull ups, pistols, muscle ups, heavy squats, or ring dips, the quick and easy answer is, “I can’t do that because I have mobility issues.”
Now, some clients do have mobility issues. So, what are we doing then to address that?! Mobility issues CAN be improved, but if it’s extreme and can’t be fixed, then we can certainly work around it. Adapt, get creative! “Where there’s a will, there’s ALWAYS a way!”
For most of us, though, it’s actually most likely a warm up issue.
To be more blunt - We aren’t warming up properly, and probably not long enough, either!
Last Friday, we had pistols in the workout, so we tried an elaborate warm up that took about 20 minutes to get through. First, we got the blood flowing with a 4-min row, then we did the couch stretch on our R-leg, followed by 10 air squats. Then, we stretched the L-leg, followed by 10 more air squats. We moved on to a calf and shin tissue massage with the PVC on our R-leg, followed by 10 close-feet air squats. Tissue prep of the L-leg, and 10 more close-feet air squats. Then, we did pigeon stretch on a box, followed by 5 R-leg pistols on a box. Pigeon stretch the other side, and 5 L-leg pistols on a box. Lastly, we did 10 KB goblet squats, followed by a 1-min goblet squat hold.
While the warm up itself was maybe less than glamorous than what we may be used to, it most definitely prepared us for the workout! After the workout, many clients were surprised how good their pistols felt, and one of them even said it was his best performance ever, despite being sporadic with his workouts lately due to work and family life.
The other hard truth is - The older we get, the more we need to warm up!
We tend to see this as a bad thing and we want to deny that we are aging and need a bit more time and attention for things. So, we pretend we’re still 19 but then pay for it with a tweaked back or a sore shoulder for the next two weeks.
I’m only 38, but even I need more time to warm up and prep these days before I can “crush the WOD.” If I don’t and I try to just jump into a workout cold, my body reminds me very quickly of my age! Believe it or not, I tend to do an actual workout before the workout itself. While this may sound crazy, how many times have you said after the WOD, “Man, I actually feel really good now that I’m all warmed up and sweaty. I kinda wish I could do that workout again, or maybe I should just do something else right now while the iron’s still hot.”
Okay, so time for some answers - Is it truly a mobility issue, or just a warm up issue?!
Start with a great warm up. If you still have issues even after a thorough and exceptional warm up, then fair enough, we need to start addressing your mobility! Give yourself the time and attention you need, though, before the workout. And, if that means that you need to come in 15 minutes early before class starts, or you need to do your own specific exercise while the rest of class does the warm up, then so be it.
If you need any warm up ideas, mobility exercises, stretches, etc, please ask us! That’s what we’re here for! We geek out on all this stuff, and are always eager to share what we know! :-)
Ask, and you shall receive!