“Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. You know what to eat, how to train, and what to do if you have a cut; you should also know how to fix your tight hips, painful knees, and stiff shoulders, and how to make yourself faster and more powerful. It’s too much to mobilize everything, all the time, everyday. Start somewhere. The Mobility Wod should take you four to 10 minutes to complete. Do it everyday. …” – The MobilityWod
Recently I was trying to help a running buddy out with some IT Band issues and ran into a Mobility Wod (Workout of the Day) video by Kelly Starrett, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and co-founder of San Francisco Crossfit. This stuff is solid! Kelly creates all kinds of concise, informative, entertaining, and impactful action-oriented videos to help restore/improve range of motion to all areas of the body that may get tight from running, lifting cars above your head, or sitting in a chair all day. How are those hip flexors doing?
Before forwarding on the IT Band video, I tried out the simple, yet powerful movements myself and while having to hold back a few tears from the saber going through my left hip, the post stretch glow brought a smile to my face. The particular stretch actually relieved low level tightness sensations in my problem knee area. A couple other actions from a wod improved the external rotation of my messed up leg/hip to be much closer to the same range of motion as the other leg. Very cool. Email sent!
To give you a taste, check out the six minutes of content-rich ITBS Mobility Wod goodness.
(If you can’t see the video, click here.)
I really dig Kelly’s Up-Stream / Down-Stream approach as well. As a body that is interconnected, this intuitively makes sense to me.
More Running Related Mobility Wods
After looking through about 65 of the 100+ Wods, here are some that caught my attention and may most benefit runners.
- Knee “itis” below the Patella – Work the calves, behind the knee, above the knee, and hips.
- Hammer Your High Hammy – Work the upper hamstrings, IT band area, and behind the knee.
- Quads or Spine? Quads! – Work hips, lower quad, and upper knee.
- Triple Hip Extension – Three intense exercises to open up the hips.
- Unglue Your Sticks Man – Work the calves, hips, and groin.
- Calf Blaster – You guessed it.
- Plantar Fasciitis – Foot stuff.
- Running in Overextension – Work the Psoas, hips, and calves.
Here is a list of the basic mobility tools mentioned in the videos.
- Massage Ball – Tennis ball, Lacrosse Ball (more firm than a tennis ball, low-cost), or Trigger Point Massage Ball (Endurance Buzz Discount at Running Warehouse)
- Exercise Band – Flexband (looked like Kelly was using 100 lb resistance). I have read a low-cost option is to use bicycle inner tubes. Road tube for lighter resistance and mountain bike tube for heavier resistance.
- Larger Massage Tools – Trigger Point Quadballer and Foam Roller. Trigger Point also has a variety of kits which you can check out at Running Warehouse. (Discount at Running Warehouse)
The beauty is you can do quite a bit of mobility work with mostly simple body positions, a massage ball, massage roller, and a little bit of time. Potential big return for a rather small investment.
I currently use a Trigger Point Kit, foam roller, and the Foot Log (cheesy site, happy feet), although I have only recently been exploring the mobility wod world. I do have some exercise tubing and bike tubes but have yet to use them as a tool to help open up the hip area.
I think there is really some great stuff here for runners. While this isn’t a cure-all for every running issue, it may be an option worth exploring for general maintenance and tweak management. These mobility wods take general stretching, one louder.
Based off of some of my own experiences with it so far, lots of upside potential to further help my knee and improve overall range of motion which may have all kinds of positive affects.
The mobility journey continues…
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 15 Dec 2010