Give yourself the actual time to complete this before class starts. We’re very lucky at our gym to be allowed to head down early. So do exactly that! Either head out for a warm up jog to the country park, or grab a foam roller and start getting moving BEFORE the main class warmup.
2. Know what you are doing
If you don’t know, ask! Make sure you are actually doing the movement right, getting the ball in the right spot, have the band where you need it to be. There’s a lot to learn in Crossfit; you didn’t learn to olympic lift overnight so don’t expect to assimilate all the mobility knowledge from a 5min conversation with one of the coaches. Ask again, speak to other gym members, grab one of the therapists, search YouTube or check out resources like the Supple Leopard.
3. Pay attention
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve spotted someone in the gym, their arm trussed up in one of the green bands animatedly chatting to a friend and its made me wince!!
Firstly just dangling your arm in an elastic band doesn’t count as mobility work! But more importantly pay attention to what you’re doing…..and FEELING! Your body will be telling you where the restrictions are, and therefore where the gains can be made. But if you’re gossiping about your new supplement regime, or planning tonight’s shopping list, then you are maximising the return from those 5mins of mobility work.
4. Lift with good form
Mobility work doesn’t stop when you put down the foam roller. Or when you leave the gym for that matter. But think of both your warm-up sets and full training lifts as mobility work too. For many people using some sort of weight helps guide them in better positions; firstly as it provides more feedback and secondly because it physically stretches out tissues in ways you might struggle to achieve with just bodyweight. The Overhead Squat is a prime example of this.
5. And breathe…..
Breath is a really powerful tool. We use it to create stability for lifts and you can use it to generate mobility when you stretch.
- Inhale – generates tension, which is why we use a full breath for stability in lifts
- Exhale – causes muscle inhibition, so look for relaxation, or sag in the tissues on the exhale and you can use this window to sneak in some more release.