Throwdown season is in the air. It’s just a few days away before the Summer Interbox Throwdown and a few weeks before the Manila Throwdown. Everyone is excited to show what they can do and break some new walls. As a physiotherapist for CrossFitters, I’ve seen how athletes are before, during and after a competition. Some people may not perform their best, or even worse, get injured along the way. More often than not, it’s because of poor preparation and training. As an old military adage says, “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Piss Performance.”
I know by now, that most of the athletes will try to cram their way to improve their lifts or gymnastic
skills just a few days before the event. If you are that athlete, just STOP and let me show you how you can really improve your performance for the upcoming competitions. It’s really simple. Before getting those unbroken Chest-to-bars (speed) or achieving a new PR (sports skill/personal record), you need to GO BACK TO THE BASICS – FOUNDATIONAL MOVEMENT. Let’s get down to the BASIC OF THE BASICS which is MOBILITY.
Mobility is the combination of a good joint range of motion and the healthy flexibility of the soft tissues (fascia, muscles and tendons) with proper movement coordination as defined by Gray Cook, the founder of Functional Movement Systems. In years of treating CrossFitters in the Philippines, I can say only about 5-10% of the population have good over-all mobility (only 1-2% of those are gifted with hyper mobility).
SO, here are 5 simple mobility drills you should start adding to your warm-up or during your rest day. These can literally be done by anyone although not everyone can do it well. If you find the following drills difficult, then you’re one of those people who needs it the most and
should work on it religiously. Attached are links to videos you can follow.
#1 T-SPINE EXTENSION AND ROTATION FOR IMPROVING OVERHEAD LIFTS AND GYMNASTIC KIPS
Get a PVC pipe/body bar (something light weight) you can hold on to and a bench/box/chair you can kneel on to. Kneel in front of the bench – knees behind within a comfortable distance from the bench. Place both elbows on the bench while holding the bar. Inhale deep. Slowly sit
back on your heels and work the bar towards your head or until it’s behind your head. Exhale slowly while sinking your shoulders further down. You should feel a stretch on your lats and triceps. Hold it for 60-90 seconds. Come back to the starting position and do it for 6-10x.
Quadruped Thoracic Extension-Rotation with Core Activation: https://youtu.be/47TFfKzpfVk
Kneel with feet shoulder width apart. Place one hand down on the mat in front of you in between your knees and the other hand behind your head. Inhale deep. With the hand behind your head, slowly lift the elbow up and rotate your torso as far as you can (or until your elbow points up directly towards the ceiling). Make sure to keep the hips do not move, keeping it stable. Exhale slowly. Repeat 10-15 times for 2-3 sets.
Modification without core activation: If the hips start to slide, you can just widen your knees and do the same as above.
#2 SHOULDER JOINT BAND DISTRACTION DRILLS FOR BETTER RACK POSITION AND OVERHEAD LIFTS
Make sure to breathe as you do the stretch and keep your spine in neutral (do not slouch or hyper extend your back) to get a full distraction. Do not bounce when stretching. Just hold it for 30-60 seconds and repeat 6-10x.
#3 GLUTEAL BALL SELF-RELEASE FOR A HEALTHIER BACK AND BETTER HIP EXTENSION
Roll the ball clockwise and counterclockwise for 60-90 seconds on each side. Don’t forget to breathe throughout the release.
#4 KNEE FLOSSING FOR A BETTER SQUAT POSITION
Do all the movements for about a minute or two. Stop and take off the mobility band when you feel any numbness or tingling sensation on the legs.
#5 SELF- MULLIGAN ANKLE DORSIFLEXION WITH ELEVATED TOE ASSIST FOR IMPROVING SNATCHES AND CLEANS
Anchor a band to a post/pole. Start in a half-kneeling position facing the pole. Hook the ankle of your front leg to the band. Move back a bit to get some distraction. Place the toes of your front leg foot on a 1-2 inch thick book/weight/box. Inhale deep. Slowly move the knee of your front leg forward as far as you can while keeping your heel in the ground. Exhale as you do move it forward. Hold it for 6-10seconds. Repeat 6-10x for 1-2sets.
Mobility fillers are pretty simple and will help you out a long way. Mobility paired with strength is a force to be reckoned with. Do yourself a favor and try these drills out. It will only take a few minutes. Be injury-free and get throwdown ready!
By: Trixia Mae C. Bacani | RockTape Certified Professional. Mulligan Concept Practitioner. Certified Trigger Point Performance Practitioner. Certified Dorn Method Practitioner. Licensed Physiotherapist. Movement Specialist.