In cross training, mobility training plays an important role but a lot of people overlook it. Cross training is a sport that uses a lot of polyarticular movements, meaning they engage more than two joints. These movements should be functional — so that we could do them every day.
A good mobility will optimize the quality of these movements, so mobility exercises must be done as regularly as possible. Training 10 minutes every day works better than 1 hour once a week.
During mobility training, attention needs to be brought to the following:
- Mechanism of action
Longer mobility training sessions should not be done close to your WOD. If you do mobility exercises just before or after the WOD, you should rather do stretching and self-massage for about 1 minute or less. That’s why a suitable protocol could help a lot of athletes. Doing mobility exercises chosen depending on the movements of the workout can lead to great improvement.
6 benefits of mobility exercises
1. Technique improvement
Technique keeps the efficiency of the movement. If you’re mobile, your body has better biomechanical adaptations to move any weight (bodyweight or external charge). For instance, having a good shoulder mobility can give you a good kip, a more efficient handstand walk, and a heavier overhead squat. Good ankle mobility can give you the capacity to do pistols squats. And so on.
2. Technical stability
Thanks to a better technique, you will be able to perform the movements effectively over many repetitions. The energy usually used to correct a bad posture or a bad line of action is used to improve the performance instead. Your body will be always placed properly compared to its line of gravity.
3. Injury prevention
A poor technique can lead to injury. As intensity increases, the more the mechanics will decline, which is acceptable if you have a good initial technique. Moreover, a poor mobility can reduce mechanics quality, or your ability to acquire it. For example, if you suffer from bad shoulder mobility in the external rotation in the front rack, your writ will undergo a lot of stress and will be more prone to injury. Likewise, a poor hip mobility when squatting or poor shoulder mobility in overhead movements may require you to compensate with your lower back when performing a thruster. A good overall mobility will spare your body.
4. Strength transmission
If a line is straight, the better the strength transmission will be. A good mobility will help you transfer your strength from the core of your body to the extremities thanks to the improvement of your posture and levers. This is physics. With good mobility, you will lift heavier weights, with the same constitutional force.
5. More intensity in WODs
The intensity is defined by the mathematical formula for power:
Power (P) = [Force (F) *Distance (d) /Time (t)]
We saw previously that a smart daily mobility training that is adapted to your training needs can help you to increase the number of repetitions with an efficient technique for a series of exercises. Thanks to this, you will be able to finish the WOD faster and more efficiently. So you will be faster in a for time workout. You can put on more weights ((body weight or external weight)*number of repetitions) and do more distance in an AMRAP (as many reps as possible). You can lift heavier in a one rep max or strength WOD. And since a better mobility improves range of motion, it will improve the distance factor.
In sum, a good mobility improves your intensity by the 3 ways of the mathematical formula that defines intensity.
6. Faster improvement in your sport
You already know that power is the main factor for performance. It is linked to all the positives aspects of fitness. Power defines intensity and if intensity increases, there will be more important neuroendocrine responses. It means your body will develop nervous and hormonal reactions able to change its structure, so you will have better results next time.
Mobility training protocols
I follow protocols adapted to my training needs and they are available in some smartphone apps. These apps give mobility exercises that are always adapted to what I did before or what I will do next so that I perform at my best. These personalized programs are configured and based on my weak mobility points, which are assessed by a mobility test that can track my progress. I never have to think about what to do to improve my mobility, and just follow the app program. I trust it. I just need a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, and one elastic band. Following mobility training apps improve my performance, speeds up my recovery and reduces my risk of injury. Combined with the right Xcore Nutrition supplements, I think I have found the right balance to be the best version of myself.