So, as you may have gathered by now, I’m a pretty big fan of Kelly Starrett and the MobilityWOD series. Following his work has given me a much deeper understanding of human movement, and helped me make huge improvements in pretty much every aspect of my own fitness, not just mobility. Starrett has done a great thing in empowering athletes to learn how to maintain their bodies and deal with their own mechanical dysfunctions.
Something you will probably realize when you begin hunting for your issues is that you are very, very broken (dys-supple, as Starrett would put it). It may seem like every time you manage to fix a problem you stumble across a new one, which can be very frustrating. I have learned to look on the positive side of this: each time I uncover a new mechanical dysfunction or tissue problem, I’ve identified a potential source of athletic improvement. It’s like I’m mining for performance and striking pay dirt (all-the-TIME). In some cases, I realize that the tissue problem is basically a ticking time bomb of impending injury that could go off any moment. (Tight rotator cuff muscles can be scary!)
If you have restricted (or painful) movement and stiff tissues, your ability to reach your full athletic potential will be compromised in some way, especially if it culminates with you on crutches. The best athletic improvements will come not from focusing on your strengths, but eliminating your weaknesses (an important lesson I learned from Gray Cook). It’s easy to only work on things you are good at because you feel like a total badass while doing so, but this mindset will only create an incomplete and vulnerable athlete.
Dealing with mobility problems can be tedious and overwhelming, so it’s important to have a system in place. Kelly Starrett recommends 10-15 minutes each day of maintenance work programmed along with the rest of your training, so you are mobilizing to recover from training and prepare for the next workout. I highly recommend you check this stuff out, whether you’re a world class athlete, trainer, coach, or just a human who deserves to move well and pain-free.
Time to go play minesweeper on my quads.