The Importance of Mobility and Stability for Maximal Power and Strength!
By: Jennifer Bearse, CrossFit Trainer and Certified Pilates Instructor www.ironcoresf.com
As CrossFit athletes we all love to focus on maximizing our Sport-Specific Skills, like mastering the clean, jerk, snatch, deadlifts, pull-ups, muscle ups, or running faster. However we often fail to realize that if we took the time to work on our movement potential FIRST, we would be able to obtain our desired skills easier because it gives us more to work with, hone and implement.
Of course, if you want to PR in your snatch, you must spend time working on your lifting mechanics and actually performing the snatch. However, if you have reduced mobility in your ankles, hips, thoracic spine or shoulders, you are never going to maximize your lifting potential – period. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. The human body is pretty smart, and really good and creating bad compensation patterns to account for any imbalances and/or deficits in mobility or stability. If you are repeatedly performing the snatch, for example, and you have limited mobility in any of the above listed areas, your body will automatically create compensatory and faulty movement patterns, which in turn creates repetitive micro trauma, dysfunction and chronic injury. Bottom line? You’re never going to maximize your strength potential with crappy mobility and limited stability, and you could even get injured or be chronically tight, immobile, etc. because of it!
Who wants that? No one! What can you do then? Simple! Identify your mobility and stability weaknesses and work on them! If you’re unsure what you need to work on or how to begin, ask a coach, or check out mobilitywod.com for some great suggestions. Alpha Project/CrossFit San Mateo provides lots of resources and tools to do just this. Foam rollers, lacrosse balls, PVC pipes, bands, and new yoga classes at the Yoga Project for members! Once you begin to remove some of your mobility restrictions, you can then work on proprioception and stability, which will allow you to generate maximum force output, which means the ability to lift heavier and be stronger, all as a more functional, efficient you.
Set aside some time each day, and use those recovery days as well, to work on your mobility and stability, and your performance in and out of CrossFit will improve, guaranteed.