Mobility is an incredibly important though often ignored topic when it comes to long-term Cross training success. Many people confuse the term mobility with flexibility, and while they go hand in hand, think of mobility as a more broad term that includes how your muscles, joints, neuroskeletal structure, tendons, and even spine and core stability all work together to give you the best range of motion.
A lack of mobility in the shoulders, quads, glutes, hamstrings, etc can drastically hinder your progress and even lead to serious injury that keeps you unexpectedly out of the box, so your mobility should be just as important as strength gains since your entire body and progress depend on it.
So what can you do to either preserve the full mobility you do have or work toward better mobility so you can finally achieve those results you're after?
- Take a yoga class 1-2 times a week to stretch your muscles and improve long-term flexibility, help with spinal alignment and core strength, etc.
- Invest in a good foam roller and use it to stretch your fascia – the tissue that envelops your muscles and causes pain when overworked – and help relax tight muscles.
- Work with a coach who specializes in mobility or a physical therapist who can give you the right tools to improve your range.
- Invest daily in mobility-building exercises, like these from coach and physical therapist Kelly Starrett.
And one final word - don’t’ forget about your ankles, an often highly neglected area that can affect SO much of your progress on moves like squats and box jumps. It’s important to make sure you have maximum ankle flexibility in addition to range of motion so you don’t encourage lower back or knee injuries during your workouts. Check out William Imbo’s techniques for testing your ankle mobility, as well as strengthening exercises that will improve your long-term efficiency.