Today you can come in and do either Thursday’s Snatch/Press programming or Saturday’s Squats and conditioning. Get Stoked!
General Informed Freestyling
A common theme from Mobility WOD is the idea of “informed freestyling”. Basically, when you’re mobilizing, instead of remaining static and settling into a singular position, you’re actively moving around trying to loosen up the tissue and hunting for other restricted areas. I’m a huge fan of total body informed freestyling in response to or as preventative maintenance for general stiffness. One way to approach this is extensive DROMs, but my bias is towards ground based movement. Ideally this is accompanied by a foam roller, straps and a lacrosse ball. More often than not, a mobility rx is reactive and targeted towards tissue you know is tight and preventing you from getting into positions you want to achieve. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and probably the way you should spend most of your time stretching out. The problem however, is that sometimes it’s at the expense of a more generalized approach to soft tissue health.
Lets start with the mindset that general stiffness is not normal and that you can do something about it. To make an analogy, if you walked around hungry all day, a light would go off in your head to do something about it. We don’t often listen to our bodies in the same way when our joints feel creaky and muscles feel stiff. This should be a huge red flag that you need to spend a little more time doing generalized restorative movement. Here are some quick benefits of a short total body movement session:
- Increased blood flow = Increased nutrient transport and hydration to all your tissues
- Excess metabolites are pushed into the lymph (think of it like “cleaning” an area of excess junk)
- Synovial fluid is pumped into your joint capsules, lubricating them
- With dedicated a breathing strategy and a modest pace, you can increase parasympathetic nervous system activity and decrease anxiety
Okay so how do we do it? Well there’s no one right way to do this and how you’re feeling that day should dictate your session but here are some general guidelines.
1. Set aside some time and space to move. 10-15 minutes should be enough to feel a lot better, I often put on a record and go at least until one side finishes. My preference is before bed since you can attack a whole day’s worth of stiffness and it’s a great way to unwind mentally. In terms of space, I love love LOVE my square36 mat. Yoga mats provide insufficient area to move around on and I constantly have to reposition myself or the mat. (use the discount code cfbrooklyn36 to get $10 off a S36 mat!).
2. Start low and work high (or vise versa). Start by doing some D-Dog calve marches, manually rolling your feet around, stretching out your toes, maybe using a LAX ball on your feet. Gradually work upstream spending more time in areas that feel tight. Use stretches you remember from Group or Active Recovery class, make stuff up, work basic splits, twists, bends and be creative. You’ll undoubtedly find positions that feel great and areas that are tight. Keep your breathing consistent and deep.
3. Pepper in some Foam Rolling, LAX work or band stretches. You might even start here and then get into the informed freestyling. If you’re not sure what to do, take an Active Recovery class!
4. End with some deep breathing laying flat on your back, drink some water then go to bed!
How often do you mobilize your tissues?