Scene: Joe Blogs Gym, Anytown USA
The Players: Tony Triceps, resident meathead extraordinaire and Mikey Mobility supporter of all things ROM (range of motion) related.
Mikey: Hey Tone looks like you are getting nice and swole for the upcoming football season
Tony: Cha bra, these guns are gonna do some damage on the field!
Mikey: Impressive indeed, but let me get your ear for a second. What if I told you that you can get faster, more agile and prevent injury in a mere 10-15 min a day. Would you be interested?
Tony: (puts down his EZ curl bar) Yea brudda what do I gotta do? More curls?
Mikey: Mobility work and stretching
Tony: What’s a mobility?
Obviously exaggerated for dramatic effect but sadly this is a scenario I see all too often. A lot of athletes just forget or completely ignore mobility. Many athletes go to great lengths to increase their strength. Toiling for hours with iron like a modern day blacksmith. Gains are great, benches go up, plates get slapped on the bar and limbs thicken like weeds. These guys look the part and cast a long and wide shadow of intimidation over the opposition. But when Tony Triceps in his form fitting Under Armour onesy tries to chase down a ball carrier he gets as much knee drive as a kick line of 90 year olds. Of course those tight hips get shook from a cutback and if his ego isn’t torn chances are a part of his posterior chain is from being introduced to an unfamiliar ROM.
Sigh, oh what could poor muscle-bound Tony T have done differently that would have prevented this unenviable position. Did someone say mobility work? Tell him what he’s won Ed.
Let’s consider the basic summer training period for most football players. Ballpark a time extending from May 15th to August 15th disregarding differences in age, level etc. Put the basic training block at 6hrs/week (1.5 hr session 4 times a week) for a grand total of 72 hours the entire summer. If we set aside 10 min a day for mobility we are looking at 40 a week which translates into 8 hours total for the entire summer. This comes to a mere 11% of your total training, to aid in injury prevention, balance, speed and agility. But here’s the great part about mobility enhancement…..you don’t even need to be in the gym. Crazy idea right? Becoming a better athlete from the comfort of your own home, watching TV, listening to young jeezy weezy, even eating a sandwich (at your own risk). If you have free time (and everyone has some don’t give me the no free time excuse, when in doubt do it before bed) take advantage and get yourself better.
An important feature to remember: like strength training mobility is something you have to constantly work at. And we’re not doing maintenance work here people, step outside your comfort zone, improve and increase your worth as an athlete.
Here is a sample mobility circuit you, like Shakira can do where ever, when ever. We’re going to go with the number 4 a lot to avoid thinking too much.
On Your Hands:
-4 Spidermen each
-4 Grasshoppers each
On Your Feet:
4 Body Weight Squats/ 4 Quad Stretches each
4 Toe Touches each/ 4 Figure Fours each
On Your Back:
-4 Dynamic Kicks with :15 hold each
-4 Single Leg Thrusts each
-4 Iron Crosses each
-4 Back Rolls to V-sit reaches
-4 Dynamic Shoulder Touches each
On Your Stomach:
-4 Scorpions each
-4 Knee to Armpits each
On Your Knees:
- 4 Cat Camels
- 4 Fire Hydrants each
-4 Frog Hip Stretches
- 4 Dynamic Shoulder flings each
-4 Shoulder Stretches each
-Foot on Box Hip Flexor Stretch (Facing Box) 2x:30each
-Foot on Box Hip Flexor Stretch (Back Foot on Box ala Bulgarian Split Squats) 2 X:30 each
-Calf Stretch :15 each
-Chest Wall stretch :15 sec each
I just did this, it took a whopping 8 min and 37.67 seconds. Invariably I forgot something but you pretty much have hit every major joint and muscle in under ten min. Throw some foam rolling in there prior to the stretching and mobility and you are looking at 15 min tops. And the best part? You don’t need any fancy (or standard) piece of equipment. No bar, sandbag, wobble board or intense music necessary, this can be done anywhere.
Sink your hips and change direction on the run, move fluidly on the field and stay injury free in 15 extra min a day-for my money it’s a bargain. Killing yourself in the weight room is only part of the athletic process, tie it all together and become a complete player with mobility work.