Mobility is a word that gets thrown around a lot in CrossFit. However, I’m not 100% sure everyone knows what it means. A few people I have spoken to in the last couple of weeks have made me realise. Not everyone might see the difference as us Coaches do! Is mobility the same as flexibility? The answer is NO!
Mobility is defined as “the ability to move or be moved freely and easily”. Whereas flexibility is “the quality of bending easily without breaking”. Two very different terms, yet they both play crucial roles in our day-to-day life (and performance in CrossFit).
So what do these two terms have to do with CrossFit?
Well if you’re asking that you must not have tried an overhead squat yet. Remember when you first started CrossFit (or just training in general) and you tried to do a squat? What happened?
Your chest came over your knees, knees drove over the toes, your heels were off the ground and you still didn’t hit depth? That is an issue of mobility. Not having the range of motion within the body to correctly perform the skill is what we consider mobility. Mobility is the ability of all the joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles etc. to pass through a full range of motion. Flexibility, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, is majorly focused on the individual muscles, and how far you can stretch them. Still extremely important for injury prevention, strength and general recovery, however, that’s another write-up!
In our classes, you will find we generally perform a mobility drill (keg stretch, couch stretch etc.) after the warm-up but before the main component. This is to prime our body for the range of motion required in the major focus of the class (i.e. a keg stretch to open the shoulder up for a snatch). More basic stretching is conducted at the completion of the class, to aid in relaxing the muscles, influencing better recovery!
With that in mind, I give you this > http://flowathletics.com/beyond-the-foam-roller-11-drills-keep-moving/< an awesome little article on fun things to do with your foam roller and mobility trigger balls!
Mobility & CrossFit: How Mobility Restrictions Are Holding You Back
Many of the exercises taught in a CrossFit involve advanced levels of joint mobility and stability throughout the body. However, most people don’t have a certain kind of mobility, but that’s okay. Still, it’s important to recognize what and where is your mobility holding you back. Therefore, you can address your issues throughout the process. Moreover, limited mobility can have negative impacts on your CrossFit performance in many ways.