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« Quote of the Week vol. 54: Secret Sauce Edition | Main | New Graduate: Mr. Z »

Crisis: Mobility Edition

Kids, you are looking bad. And this time it's really not your fault.

This Summer showed off the best movement we have seen so far in the Champions Club - and improved mobility had a lot to do with it. We saw Katie Bromm squat with an upright torso, JZ bring his arms over his head for the first time since he was a toddler, and everything else in between. But in the past few weeks, something has been looking a little off. And it was hard to put my finger on what the issue was - until yesterday.

We did 1 rep max snatch and all of the mobility flaws came out from hiding - flaws that weren't nearly as visible during the Summer. The two issues that stuck out the most were rounding lower back on anything involving bending at the waist and an unspeakably ugly overhead position. I think the culprit comes from the sudden onset of sitting for 7 hours at a desk at school.

The once-servicable squat of Aaron Sexton has resorted to this

Here are a few things that happen to when we sit:

1) Think about hip capsule mobility; we are pushing our hip backwards into a good position. When we sit, it gets pushed in the exact opposite direction for 7 hours and then sort of gets stuck there until we do something about it for 2 minutes then pray that was enough to get back to normal.

2) Our shoulders are stuck at midrange when we sit and, much like our hips, get stuck there. Here's something interesting: watch your classmates' shoulder position when they suddenly raise their hand overhead.

3) Lastly, our head position is rarely functional, let alone optimal. Usually our head is slammed onto the table in one way or another in a desperate attempt to sleep. And if you are the paying-attention type, then your head is tilted forward reading the book.

When we spend a lot of time like this, our body adapts to these shapes. Imagine how you would feel if you did 7 hours of couch stretch every. It would be extremely uncomfortable at first but our body would adapt and eventually it wouldn't even be considered a stretch. It would just be our resting position. This is the case with sitting. Since we are so used to it, it just feels normal while it wrecks our insides.

You need to start taking it upon yourself to undo these side effects on your own. Couch stretch and hip capsule are the easiest ones to do. If you are cool with being awkward then use some of Emma's in-school techniques she covers in the classic 2012 post Mobing It Up (notice Amy's comment a year and a half late). Whatever you do, do something. Anything. We cover a lot of stuff in the gym, but you need more time that we give you to undo 7 hours of wasting away. Plus, your workouts will eventually be compromised. I have to coach what I see, and it won't be long before you join the Katie Bromm Partial Range Of Motion Deadlift Club.

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