By Timminy Haycock of California Elite Training Center
Whether you have been an athlete for years or if this is your first week in the gym, having a good mobility routine is crucial to being successful with your fitness. I am lucky; stretching and having an extensive warm-up regimen was engrained in my daily routine as early as my competitive swimming days over twenty years ago. Over the years, I’ve had to keep this up or suffer the consequences of injury or nagging pain that would inhibit my training.
I started CrossFit about four years ago and didn't really take warming up or mobilizing too seriously, and I would always find myself with a migrating injury; one month it would be in my low-back, the next it would be in my knee, the next it would be in my shoulder. This cycle perpetuated because I was too lazy to take the time to take care of my body.
About a year ago, I came to the realization that spending hours and hours each week trying to improve my fitness was a waste if I wasn't willing to spend minutes each day setting myself up for success. So, I had to find a daily routine to supplement all my hard work on the barbell, and I have not had a major setback since I started doing this.
As time has gone on, my mobility routine has evolved to fit my needs for that day. For example, on squat or deadlift day, I make sure my low back, hamstrings, side butt, under butt, upper butt (those are all anatomically correct names), quads, and calves are ready to work hard. I've also created an extensive upper body mobility routine that works for me for bench days.
So what can you do? Mobilizing before you work out and getting your body ready for what you're about to put it through is key. Mobilizing afterwards is important too, but if you’re going to only have time for one, do it before you train. There are numbers of resources to help you get started. I have found a lot of things that work for me through ROMWOD (www.romwod.com) which is basically a 10-45 minute video each day that is pretty much just yoga for CrossFitters. Kelley Starrett is big in the fitness community. He’s a host on the biggest loser and is considered the mobility guru for CrossFit. He wrote a book called the Supple Leopard which details different positions, their benefits, and what movements they will be beneficial for. He has a website www.mobilitywod.com which is very helpful and there are four posters hanging on the wall by the back rooms in the gym that illustrate which movements to do for different movements. Our coaches and other experienced members at our gym also have a plethora of knowledge to help you if the internet cannot help you find what you are looking for.
In conclusion, what is the point of putting in so much time and effort at the gym if you don’t set yourself up for success? All it takes is 5-10 minutes every day, and I guarantee your body will thank you for it!