A common trait that most of us share is our busyness. With ever-increasing technology that is supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient, it just seems like we are constantly finding ways to fill our time with other tasks or activities. The same goes for working out. Most CrossFit classes are one hour in length which conveniently fits into most of our busy schedules. However, when it comes to doing the extra stuff like accessory work, mobility, technique practice, etc., we often claim to be too busy to work on these things as well. But what if you just stayed for ten extra minutes after every class? It would add up to being several hours of extra practice in just a few short weeks. Oftentimes, the problem with this is that many athletes don’t know how to spend those ten extra minutes.
Take mobility for example: when most people hear the ‘term’ mobility they try to change the subject or quickly walk away from the conversation. Why? Because this word can often be intimidating and confusing at the same time. If you Google ‘mobility’ on the internet, hundreds of pages of answers will pop up, which makes it very difficult to know where to start. So, if you only have ten minutes to spare, what mobility drills will give you the most bang for your buck? Here are three mobility drills that every CrossFit athlete should be doing:
Deep Lunge with Rotation (aka Spiderman)
The first mobility exercise is one that is pretty common and is often used in general warm-ups, especially on a day where squats are involved. To complete this stretch, take a long lunge step with one leg so that your knee is up close to your shoulder. While keeping your front shin vertical, rotate your torso away from your knee so that your elbow (if left leg is out in front then left elbow) touches the ground (or gets as close to the ground as you can get it). Then, rotate your torso back towards your knee and reach your arm straight up in the air so that your shoulders are stacked over each other. Rotate back and forth between these two positions for several reps. Then switch legs and do the same thing on the other side. If one side feels tighter than the other, spend more time on the tighter side.
Standing Hip CAR’s (Controlled Articular Rotations)
Start by standing by a post and facing sideways. Raise your outside leg (the one farthest from the post) so that you bring your knee up as high as you can. Then move your leg towards the outside of your body so that your knee is in line with your side (avoid rotating your entire torso). Then rotate your leg so that your quad is pointing forward and your leg is at a right angle. Then bring your leg back while slowly making an arc-like motion, finishing with your raised leg in front of you once again.
This is a great exercise to work on shoulder extension, which helps improve the overhead position, as well as prime the glutes for your squats. It is also beneficial for opening up the front of the shoulder which is good when trying to get in positions such as the bottom dip portion of the muscle-up. In order to complete this movement, start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. Your hands should be on the floor behind you with arms locked out. From here, drive your hips up and squeeze your glutes so that your stomach and hips make a flat surface that faces toward the ceiling. Hold this position for several seconds before returning back to the ground.