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This month's focus is mobility, which means we'll be addressing issues that might be restricting you from achieving proper positioning and range of motion in your movements. We'll be showing you some techniques that focus on different areas of the body throughout the month, and although you may not be in need of certain techniques on a given day, you are encouraged to learn them and put them in your bag of tricks for a time when you may need more work on a particular area of the body.
As Kelly Starrett (founder of MiobilityWOD.com and author of Becoming a Supple Leopard) says, "People need a go-to safe plan so that they can take responsibility for their own dysfunctions. And that safe plan starts with position and movement...It's an all-day, everyday endeavor. People sit in cars, work at desks, and train as if they were world-class athletes:that's a whole lot of movement to manage. Change takes time. But if you understand how to move correctly, you can at least mitigate movement errors that have the potential to cause injury and buy yourself some time to work on the compromised tissues." (Becoming a Supple Leopard) Good form is the first step in injury prevention and paying special attention to your body's positioning at all times is key. Keep in mind that only you know what is going on inside of your body. When something doesn't feel right, chances are it's not right. Stop or slow down when needed, check your position and make sure to communicate what's going on with your trainers. Deal with problems early on. Mobility should be the first line of defense in dealing with minor pain or range of motion issues.
One way in which we will emphasize this priority throughout the month is by reiterating good movement patterns and throwing some WODs out at you that will not be timed but completed for FORM. Gasp! No timer?! Yes, that's right--WODs completed for form only. This is not to say that you shouldn't prioritize your form on EVERY WOD, but it can be easy to forget when you get caught up on the time. This will be just a little reminder. The clock is there so you can keep up intensity and measure your fitness progress; the clock is not the most important thing, and it's certainly not going to protect you from injury. Only you can do that.
We'll also include mobility lessons at the beginning (and sometimes at the end) of your workout. These exercises will be dynamic--meaning rather than static stretches, you'll be moving through a range of motion, often while utilizing a band, lacrosse ball, or foam roller. While mobility exercises are not always "fun," use them as an opportunity to learn about how to take care of your body. Kelly Starrett recommends spending at least 2 minutes on an area in order to make a change, so don't rush your exercises if you want to see improvements. Different people will respond to different exercises--take note of what works for you. Also remember that mobility work may be uncomfortable at times, but it should not be unbearable. If something is excessively painful, back off or stop completely. Again, you'll have to judge for yourself how intense the discomfort is, and listen to your body.
By the time the month is over, you should have a variety of mobility exercises to work on all areas of your body. When the month is up, that doesn't mean the mobility work ends--you should continue incorporating these into your daily routine for injury prevention and for dealing with restricted or painful areas of the body. Here we go... let's get mobilizing!