Immobility anywhere hurts performance everywhere. Use these drills to make sure you’re active and mobile from head to toe.
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10 Mobility Drills for Better Recovery and Performance
1. Couch Stretch
Area of impact: quads
With your back against the wall, lunge forward with one leg and drop onto your other knee, folding your back leg so your foot is sandwiched between your rear and the wall. Hold yourself upright and do your best to bring your back to the wall. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch sides.
2. Goblet Squat Curls
Areas of impact: hips, lower back
With a light kettlebell held between your hands, drop into the bottom of your squat, keeping your chest tall and your shoulders active. Sit at the bottom for a few seconds and use your elbows to push your knees out.
Once you’re comfortable in this position, add the curl: lower the kettlebell to the ground with both hands and curl it back up. You can also press the kettlebell forward away from your chest, or for an additional challenge, press it overhead.
3. Overhead Squat Therapy
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Areas of impact: shoulders, lower back, hips, ankles
Approach the squat rig posts with a PVC in your overhead grip. Set up with the PVC overhead against the posts and your body lined up below the PVC. Squat down, keeping the PVC against the rig the whole time. When you recognize a sticking point in your overhead squat, pause there, stand up slightly, and slowly lower through it. Repeat as needed.
4. Massage and Plantar Fascia Stretch
Areas of impact: feet, ankles
With your hands, massage the bottom of your feet, especially in and around your arch and your toes. Identify spots that are tight or tender. Then, using a roller or massage ball, roll out those parts of your feet. (This is the massage ball we love.)
You can start on the floor, but standing to massage enables greater pressure and a quicker release.
Once your feet are loose and activated, kneel with the bottom of your toes on the floor. Lean back on your heels. You should feel the stretch in your arches. Release. Point your toes behind you and lean back again. Repeat.
5. Cobra Pose
Area of impact: back
Lying on your stomach on the floor, push your chest up with your hands on the ground and your elbows to your sides. Your back should arch. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Release. Repeat.
6. Child’s Pose
Area of impact: back
Kneel on the floor and fold your hips back, so your butt rests on your heels and your chest is forward against your thighs. Keep your arms extended in front of you and drive your hips further back for a more active stretch. Hold 5-10 seconds.
Alternate both poses above for an active stretch throughout your back. The child’s pose can be varied diagonally for a greater stretch in your lats.
7. Hamstring Stretch With Resistance Band
Area of impact: hamstring
With a resistance band wrapped around one foot and held in your hand, lie on your back and raise the banded leg. Keeping your leg straight, raise it as far as you can until you start to feel a stretch. Use the resistance band to hold it in place for 15-20 seconds. Release slightly and then bring it closer. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat as needed. Switch legs.
8. All-Fours Shoulder Circles
Area of impact: shoulders
With your hands and knees on the floor and your spine neutral, move your shoulders in backward circles. Your elbows should stay straight and your hands should be firmly rooted to the floor. Make the circles slowly, shrugging up to your ears, then back toward your hips and down. Feel free to alternate shoulders and circle in the opposite direction.
You can also follow this with a lacrosse ball massage to loosen up remaining tight spots on the front of your shoulders.
9. Post-Jumping Calf Smash
Area of impact: calves
After a couple rounds of foam rolling to get started, finger massage up and down your calves to identify your tightest and most sore spots. (Here’s the foam roller we’re using lately.)
Then, with a lacrosse or massage ball, attack each of those spots. Place the target area on the top of the ball and push down. You can place your other leg on top for additional pressure.
For better leverage, put the ball on a stack of books. Apply pressure and hold. Start with your muscle relaxed, then tense it and release. Repeat as needed on each spot.
10. Triceps Smash
Area of impact: triceps
Like the calf smash, but for your triceps. This helps improve your front rack position.
With the barbell on the rig in front of you, raise your arm over the bar with your hand facing palm up on your shoulder. Place your tricep on the bar, digging into the tissue and applying pressure where it’s especially tight and sore. Roll your arm side to side to loosen up your muscle.
Continue doing this up and down your tricep. Spend extra time on the knots. Repeat on the other side.
We’ve got all the mobility tools you’ll need to recover during the Open. Shop with The WOD Life today.