Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General When to mobilize and prep for mobilization

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    • #70884
      AvatarGillian Pearce

      I know that a good deal of mobility work with lacrosse balls, rollers, barbells, etc. should be done post-workout to help soften up tissue that you found was tense during a workout and to prep for the next day’s workout (mobilizing tight ankles for a squat session the next day). I also know that banded distractions for opening up joint capsules can be done pre-workout after warming up and getting a good sweat.

      My question is this: what can I do on rest days or in the mornings and evenings when my body is cold? Should I warm up tissues that I want to mobilize with a light jog and/or dynamic stretching? Will I see change in range of motion or am I wasting my time? Are static stretches such as hip openers and the couch stretch okay at any time? When should compression with voodoo bands be done: pre-workout (I know new ranges can be sketchy so this doesn’t seem likely), post-workout, or at any time? Finally, how much time should I spend organizing tissues that are tight from a workout versus time spent organizing tissues for the next workout (i.e., is it a 1:1 ratio or 1:2 ratio, etc)?
    • #74447
      AvatarNathan Richer

      re: rest days

      i have often mobilized only on rest days. I go through my entire body and do everything from top to bottom. I look for any tightness or restrictions on ROM and work them out. It can take an hour to do my entire body and I feel loose and great afterwards. I’m even a bit warmed up so I think there is some good active recovery going on as I’m encouraging circulation by movement and opening up tight tissues to allow for more blood flow.
      I also think that letting muscles stay tight in their reaction to a workout is something that lengthens recovery time. so your post workout mobilizing and cool down is a good idea as well as working out whatever tightness you have the day(s) after.
      re: body is cold
      i have always used mobilizing as part of my warm up. after moving around, i always finish with a very light sweat, which is good to have and shows you are warming up.
      I think that when muscles are warm and your circulation is going versus being totally cold, your ROM will be naturally better.  I have seen the very act of mobilizing, as it warms me up, to be helpful in getting un-cold and therefore better ROM.
      I wouldn’t think of any MWOD mobilizing as static stretches.  I think it connotes just hanging on your tissues in the more traditional way of thinking about stretching.  For MWOD, you want to always be thinking tack and floss, finding corners and vibrating gently at them, back off and then go back into the corners again.  
      In some mobs, you’ll also want to pay attention to when Kstarr says to flex a certain muscle – this is important. you are activating the agonist/antagonist relationship to help you release tight muscles.  so in the couch stretch, you’re not static in that position. you need to flex the back glute strongly as you rise up. it’s tough but helps a ton because the glute will send a signal to your hip flexors to lengthen.  if you do not, you are just pulling on tight tissue which may never neurologically release. in addition to flexing the glute, you should find corners and move around in them to help break up adhesions.
      re: voodoo bands
      i have used them both before and after workout.  I feel mobs/smashes pre workout should always be used to: 1) warm up, 2) mobilize tissues to enable you to reach the positions you need during the workout.  so i always test pre workout – my personal faves (you’ll have your own based on your own issues) are the overhead arm raise and deep squat. if i cannot achieve my max range in either, i start mobilizing/smashing until i can. otherwise, it can be dangerous to workout if your workout has demanding ROM.
      so with voodoo bands, i have used them pre workout at the quads/knees because sometimes i feel junky there before i start. a minute or two with bands on them and they feel great and loose after. plus moving around with the bands on, squatting up and down is a great warm up.
      re: time spent
      i think the MWOD crew usually says no more than 10 minutes total.  i have found that depends.  if you are just starting out and have restricted ROM, it could be longer.  in the beginning for me, i have mobilized for 45 min before working out. it made my workout time incredibly long! but i could get down into position after that much time.  Now my tissues have improved so that only 10-15 min is required to figure out what is really tight and what is not, and only hit the important areas and not have to literally do everything.
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