Mobilize Before Fit Hits the Shan

I'll admit it, I am a poster child for why mobility work is necessary. From the very beginning of my CrossFit adventures I learned that when my mobility homework goes by the wayside, fit hits the shan (yes that's backwards, keeping it PG here y'all). Mobility can come in two forms: static mobilization and dynamic mobilization. Both are great, but I'm a huge promoter of the latter. It is awesome to be flexible and touch your toes, but can you still stretch those hammies while under a ton of weight? That's where it gets tricky. 

MY BADASS SHOULDERS ARE ANNOYING ME

My most recent mobilization eye-opener was about four to five weeks ago. I was mid-handstand pushup and I started to get pain where my deltoid inserts and meets my biceps and triceps. I figured, "Uhhhh so you're tired and stuff is starting to hurt, ehhh whatever keep going." Within about five minutes it got too painful and that little part of your brain that says "hey dumb-dumb, you're injuring yourself!" chimed in. So I backed off, called my coach over, and modified. A day or two passed and the pain dissipated so I didn't give it too much thought. But wouldn't you know, push jerks came up later in the week and the same pain came roaring back. Amazing right, same movement just inverted hurt? Mind. Blown. 

At this point, I'm annoyed because I usually think of injuries or impairments as a great injustice to me personally. My inner dialog turns into, "How dare you even consider being agitated shoulder?! Don't you see that I'm trying to do something here (aka be badass)?" So I call my phenomenally, awesomely, crazy smart coach and whined about my grievances. Long story sort of shorter, he looked me over and found I had a lack of external rotation available to me when my muscles were under load. Sure I could externally rotate my arm standing there but when he pinned it down with the 45# barbell and asked me to move it, well HELLO, NO (I may have said more like "HELL NO"). After a short assessment, he came up with a series of exercises that had me suffering (the good kind) in no time. 

  While lying on your back bring your arm to a 90-degree angle making sure your elbow and shoulder are in line. Use a barbell to pin your anterior deltoid (the front of your shoulder) down. Without letting your elbow slide towards your hip, begin to move your forearm through full range of motion. Try to bring your palm to the floor as well as the back of your hand to the floor. Continue moving for 2min before switching sides.  

 

While lying on your back bring your arm to a 90-degree angle making sure your elbow and shoulder are in line. Use a barbell to pin your anterior deltoid (the front of your shoulder) down. Without letting your elbow slide towards your hip, begin to move your forearm through full range of motion. Try to bring your palm to the floor as well as the back of your hand to the floor. Continue moving for 2min before switching sides.  

SO I MADE THEM LESS ANNOYING

I do the exercises every day I'm at the gym (5x a week) and what do you know — not only are my shoulders better, but my lifts have increased, fancy that! When thinking about this blog post I realized I really dodged a bullet by addressing a potential injury immediately — before it turned into anything serious. My dedication to my dynamic mobilization exercises pulled me out of a potentially real problem AND made my lifts turn towards badass instead of fit hitting the shan. 

Programs like MOD are designed for this purpose: to prevent injuries and to cut injuries short as soon as they begin. Our bodies are devilishly tricky and will always take the path of least resistance. Frequently, the easy path is the most destructive. But if you create a new path (a more mobile path) you can hightail it up and over those potential injuries. The key for me, and you is the mobility work has to be done EVERY DANG DAY. I know, super annoying. But you know what's more annoying?? Having your badass shoulders, lifts, and confidence go to crud. MOD is a super easy way to make this happen. You've got your deck of cards, you dish a few out and get 'er done! Don't wait for fit to hit the shan, mobilize it now. 

  Pin your upper trap with a barbell. While holding the bar down, move the straight arm through full range of motion. Try to keep the elbow locked out, palm faced in, and bicep as close to ear as possible at the top. Continue to move arm up and down for 2 min per side. 

 

Pin your upper trap with a barbell. While holding the bar down, move the straight arm through full range of motion. Try to keep the elbow locked out, palm faced in, and bicep as close to ear as possible at the top. Continue to move arm up and down for 2 min per side. 

Have fun and let me know how it goes!!