Without going any further.... Which would you be? Flexible? OR Mobile?
As an athlete and Gym owner I hear the two Terms Flexibility and Mobility used with very little regard for differences. But there IS a huge difference and today I am going to shed light on this so YOU can change the way you think about your daily training. This under appreciated distinction is literally the linchpin of athletic performance. Have I peaked your interest? Lets get bendy today and develop a greater understanding of what it actually means to be a functional athlete.
Of Course We must start with Definitions.
Flexibility is the range of motion about a joint in relation to the soft tissue and muscle that it is connected to. Broken down it can be thought of like this; Sally can do the Splits and I can't. Sally has better flexibility than I do because her muscles are able to stretch more than mine which allows the joints to move with an increased range of motion. The amount of flexibility that a person has is related to a myriad of things that relate to how much they practice (stretch) and what they were born with (genetics and body composition) .
The role of Flexibility is absolutely essential to Human function. One can easily look at the effectiveness of a child which has an almost innate ability to 'bounce' during daily activities and a middle aged man who is relatively sedendary that has trouble getting out of bed in the morning. As athletes, flexibility allows us to perform basic exercises all the way up to sport specific movements.
But there is a HUGE difference between having the Flexibility and actually using it to be an effective Human Being. This is where we pivot and introduce Mobility.
Mobility is the ability to perform functional movements with ease by utilizing both Flexibility and the Stability. Yes athletes, its not about how well you can turn yourself into a pretzel but how well you can perform while in that pretzel! Mobility is not just the range of flexibility you may have about a joint but your effectiveness in stabilizing the joint under load and producing power from a given position.
....Perform this simple exercise in memory....How many times have you seen a relatively flexible person get aches, pains, strains during athletic activity? I can tell you that for most of my career in Fitness, the Heavy Deadlift or Front Squat days are where Ive seen it the most. I recall numerous times where displays of incredible flexibility in warm up stretches result in huge fails when an athlete is crippled by a moderate barbell lift or squat.
The Reason is usually Core and Muscular Strength.
Muscular Strength is the key factor between you being a majestic FLEXIBLE unicorn and a dangerously MOBILE Rainforest Jaguar! Performing as many rounds of full range of motion squats or plank holds as you do banded static stretches is key to developing mobility. Aches and pains will go away if your mobile. Injuries will go away if you are mobile. Dexterity, Agility and Coordination will improve with mobility.
...Now think about how many times you have seen an Olympic Lifter miss a lift and get body slammed but bounce right back? Or a gymnast who Scorpions themselves during a vault but frickin walks it off? That is mobility. Athletes need to train both flexibility and strength in order to achieve greatness in the form of mobility.
Taking what you know now about the differences between the two and apply it to your life. Adjust your training protocols to reflect the goal of Mobility through stretching the joint and strengthening muscles around the joint. Simply understanding that they both need to live in conjunction can drastically improve your performance. This is why you will see in my program design a good bit of dynamic stretching and core stability exercises in the warm ups and static stretches/ foam rolling at the end of each session.
So get after it this week and ask yourself... do I want to be a Unicorn or a Jaguar... the choice is yours Fitness Warriors!
Love you all,
Programming Notes 8/13-8/19 ** This is the Final Week of the Speed/ Endurance Cycle. We are going to test both the Backsquat on Monday and your mile time on Thursday in a great time priority workout. We will be jumping back into the Olympic lifts with more regularity to increase power output at moderate weight range. Enjoy this week and train hard.
8 Barbell Good Mornings
8 Barbell BackSquats
8 Front Rack Side (lateral) Lunges
Squat Flow: Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Ankle Roll Out, Bootstraps, PNF Stretch, Squat W/ T Spine Stretch
Rest 5 mins
1 Set of Max Reps at 225/135#. Compare to previous weeks .
Stamina Work :
Not For Time
Farmer Carry 70/53# Kettlebells 400m .
10 Kettlebell Swings
8 Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (each side)
6 Burpee Pull Up
4 Kettlebell Windmills (each Side)
Turkish Get Ups:
10 Reps on each arm
*weight is variable
5X :45 Work :15 Rest
A) Hollow Rocks
B) Strict Chin Ups
C) Hip Extension
D) Kettlebell Side Bends
Roll Out Upper back and hips for 3 mins prior to session
5 Wall Climbs
25 Lunge Steps
10 barbell Front Squat
5 Broad Jumps
Clean and Jerk Warm Up:
- PVC High Pull
-PVC Muscle Clean + Press
-Barbell high Hang clean and Push Press
-barbell Hang Clean + Push Jerk
- Barbell Clean and Jerk
Power Clean + Push Jerk
21 Box Jumps 24/20
Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
Marching High Kicks
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Sprint W/ Change of Direction
Rotator Cuff Drills W/ 5# weights;
-Bent Scarecrow +External Rotations
-Bent Plate Pull To Cheeks
-Bent Reverse Flys
-Bent lat pulls
-Standing Lateral Raises
-Standing Front Raises
_Standing Wide Presses
-Standing Narrow Presses
1 Mile Run,Max Push Ups. *note mile time!!
Rest 3 Mins
800m Run, Max Ring Dips
Rest 3 Mins
400m Run, Max Handstand Push Ups
Lat Band Mobility
Across Chest band Stretch
*Spend 3-5 minutes Rolling out the Piriformis and low back with a lacrosse ball
5 Minutes easy rowing at 1:55-2;15 pace
20 Walking Reverse Lunges
15 Banded Good Mornings
10 Single Leg Lateral Hops on each leg
5 Burpee Tuck Jumps
Deficit Deadlift (feet on a 45# Plate)
Barbell Bent Row