Everyone probably has a go-to set of mobility exercises, whether it’s foam rolling, the lacrosse ball or the CFCOA cool-down stretches on the back wall. But doing the same mobility movements over and over can be just as limiting as doing the same movement in a workout.
Here are some ideas to broaden your mobility regime:
Change the Tool
If you favor the foam roller, drop it for a while and instead pick up a lacrosse ball or the weird blue plastic thing that looks like an adult toy. Working the same muscle but with a different implement may change the angle and intensity enough to help you see some better results.
Change the Style
While self-myofascial release (AKA foam rolling) is great for “smushing” sore muscles and aiding in recovery, there is strong evidence supporting contract-relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) for actually improving mobility. PNF is when you flex a muscle and then let it relax so that you can get even deeper into a stretch. Often you’ll do a PNF stretch with a band or a box, like here.
We have a library of great books at the front desk. If you have mobility problems in a particular area of your body, take a look at Becoming a Supple Leopard or one of our other mobility books to get ideas for new stretches to target that area. The Internet is great for looking up videos, but stick to trusted sources such as breakingmuscle.com, catalystathletics.com, and crossfit.com.