Realizing Big Gains Through Mobility

This year, I had one of the biggest challenges of my 13 year Crossfit tenure. A medical situation landed me on a drug accompanied by stern instructions from my (pro-WOD) doctor:

“No chest to bar pull-ups, don’t get cut, and you shouldn’t strain… so NO heavy lifting. For SIX weeks."

What was I going to do? My first class back was a 5 x 3 overhead squat — a highly technical movement that requires a lot of strength and flexibility to perform well. With encouraging words from the head coach at my gym, I went extra light and focused on moving well.

I felt fortunate for this encounter, as it set the tone for the rest of my workouts during my course of treatment. While I had to hold back from competing with my ‘gym rivals’ on the whiteboard, I was able to focus on those things we sometimes consider the periphery of training: I rolled, I stretched, I mobilized.

The whole six weeks, I was worried about a backslide in strength & performance, because I was going light, scaling big time (think: 9’ wall ball target…) and not hitting the METCONs as hard as I wanted.

To my surprise, when I returned, we had another overhead squat day. 7 x 1. I went in without expectations, but walked out of the gym that day with a sixty pound PR. Sixty. Pounds.

I knew my poor flexibility was holding me back, but I never quite understood how much. Spending just six weeks focusing on mobility lead to some of the biggest #gains I’ve seen in the last few years.

We know there are other athletes who have had similar experiences. We want to hear from you! Tell us about your mobility success or just give us the one mobility exercise that makes the biggest difference in your performance.