What if, right now, you could have a magic elixir: a special solution proven to increase your strength and stamina, release stress, prevent injury, heal pain, and even reverse the aging process? What if we guaranteed that this solution had no ill side effects, was one-hundred percent legal, and could be yours absolutely free? You’d try it, right?
There is such a solution. Very much real, and accessible to us all.
It is, in a word: mobility.
Now, before you leave this blog to check your Facebook “likes” or the score of the Lakers’ game, stay with us. It’s important.
Most of us have a real problem with stretching. We want to throw up when “Fran” appears as the WOD, but we’ll still complete those thrusters and pull ups. We repeatedly lash ourselves with our jump ropes like self-flagellating monks, but we’ll do what it takes to master those double-unders. So why the resistance when it comes to working on our mobility?
Probably because much of the time, stretching is uncomfortable! (For many of us, the couch stretch might as well be a WOD of its own.) We don’t commit as we should to proper stretching because we lack mobility. We lack mobility because we do not commit to properly stretching. It’s a vicious, and sometimes dangerous, circle.
Good mobility and proper movement are, in the words of Dr. Kelly Starrett, “the keys to optimal performance.” Kelly and his wife, Juliet, are owners of San Francisco CrossFit, and Kelly is arguably our sport’s expert on mobility. In his excellent book, Becoming a Supple Leopard (Victory Belt Publishing, 2013), Kelly emphasizes “It’s not about whether or not a movement was completed but rather whether or not the movement was completed with good form.”
Proper stretching (working on our mobility), combined with proper form (correctly executing movements) equals success. If I have knee pain, I’m reluctant to squat. But maybe the problem is not with my knees. Perhaps my hamstrings are too tight. If I have pain in my lower back, a foam roller is going to be torture. But what if I spend time on my immobile ankles first? You get the picture.
Here at CrossFit City of Angels, our coaches teach and reteach proper movements and positions to not only ensure safety, but to help maximize performance. We have any number of exercises designed to help with shoulder, hip, calf and ankle mobility. Plus we have our resident yogi; Jino De Castro on hand to give you classes devoted to your mobility..
Other than eating well and routinely hitting the gym, the single most important thing any of us can do to maximize our CrossFit performance – and all-around health — is to maintain proper position and to properly stretch. With voodoo bands, barbells, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, our own bodies, dog toys, cat toys. Whatever. Every single day.
Never tried CrossFit?! Contact our Los Angeles gym at 323-284-8906 or stop by our gym and talk to one of our coaches.