Mobility Drill: Banded Hip Flexor Stretch

Why Your Fitness Program Needs Integrated Mobility Work

Are you on a training program that states it will get you the sexy or shredded body you have always wanted?  Does it have nutrition integrated in with it’s programming?  If it doesn’t…drop it like a bad habit!  This is similar to how I feel to fitness training programs that offer to make you fit, stronger, or lean but don’t have integrated mobility work paired with it.  If you want someone to achieve these attributes you are doing them a disservice if you aren’t looking out for them long-term.

They may help you get the results you want short term, but if you want to have a healthy strong body long term and do the things you love pain free, mobility work and stretching is a must!  Let me give you a life example of my own:

I participated in Track and Field from my young adolescent years all the way through college.  I loved it and it seemed to work for me.  I got great results aesthetically from the training we did and decent strength gains when we were hitting the weight room.  But…the biggest issue that I have come to realize now that I am pushing 40 is that we never emphasized stretching or mobility work.  When practice was over and all the hard work was done…you were on your on with no guidance in these areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved all my coaches and they all had an impact on my life growing up.  But I wish they cared a little bit more about what was going to happen to me long term if I didn’t do proper recovery and maintenance work on my body.  I should take responsibility as well because I knew stretching helped to some degree, but didn’t care too much about it if my coaches didn’t.  Go figure, we were all so smart in those days…

Let’s fast forward to the present day.  I have been competing in Spartan and Obstacle Course racing now for almost 4 year.  Prior to that I was doing Crossfit.  My body is an absolute mess and it isn’t all due to the training I have been putting in these past few years for the sport of OCR, it takes time and hard work to beat the hell out of it.  There are many athletes in my age group and older that have healthier bodies and have had similar athletic backgrounds to me.  The main difference I find is that they had coaches in the past that incorporated proper warm ups, cool downs, and stretching for these athletes…and if they didn’t they have excellent genetics on their side…mine must be from the basic gene pool.

On the same token I find as we get older, we get wiser with our training and recovery protocols.  I find that I spend more time working on my recovery and mobility work more than actually working out.  Crazy right?!  Why?  Because of all the tight connective, muscular, and fascia tissue problems I have due to a nonexistent recovery protocol in my past and overtraining in college to stay competitive with the top athletes.  Now pair that with training hardcore in Crossfit and OCR and all while over 30 and bam, you got a train wreck a coming (I’m there now with a bad foot injury still).

In our 20s we bounced back quickly and in are early 30s you can somewhat get away with it unless your basic like me…I had to start working on reversing the damage from the past all while keeping up with the wear and tear I am doing to my body in the present.

How does this relate to the training program that you are on?  It does!  Let’s say the program you are on is getting you excellent strength gains and you look great too.  The problem isn’t short term.  The problems you will deal with training on a program without integrated mobility work will come up maybe a decade or two later, maybe sooner if you are like me and trained hard most of your life with very little to no mobility work. Fortunately for us there is so many programs and gyms out there now that give you the tools and knowledge you need to keep your bodies healthy and hopefully pain free and still have the positive results that we all want.

How do you find these places?  Google gyms, fitness, Crossfit, etc. in your area and look at their websites.  See if they blog or post anything up about what they represent or apply with their clientele.  Do they have Facebook and Instagram pages?  I find that social media is the best way to get a quick glimpse of what each gym is all about and I can make a pretty good guess whether I want to train or send someone there.  When all else fails…try them all out and do a comparison.  In my opinion a gym or fitness program that is nailing it has:  strength and conditioning, mobility, and nutrition fundamentals built into their program.

Now go out there a win!

 

 

Donald Trump Loves Burpees

Workout of the Week: Burpees!

Burpees!  You either hate them or love them!  I would have to say it depends on how often I have been doing them.  In this instance I haven’t done a burpee since Jan/Feb of this year!  Well…I have been avoiding them far too long and wanted to take a stab at a workout I wrote up awhile back when I was still coaching at NorCalSC.

Here are some simple definitions to understand before I go into the workout:

EMOM– Every minute on the minute.  This is a workout where you perform a fixed number of repetitions in a minute and rest the remainder of that minute.  I love these workouts because they can be used to work on specific movements at a fixed rest period (i.e. barbell cleans, snatches, etc.) or used as a HIIT workout (its all dependent on the movement).  For example:  5 Push Ups might be the movement and volume for each minute.  So…you have 1 minute to complete 5 push ups.  If you finish it in 10 seconds, you have 50 seconds to rest till you start the next minute.  And you do this for a fixed amount of time.  It could be 5 minutes (5 rounds) , 8 minutes (8 rounds) , 10 minutes (10 rounds), etc.

Burpee– Maybe you are new to this movement, but anyone who has been doing Crossfit, Spartan Racing, Bootcamp or working out in a Strength and Conditioning setting are very familiar.

  • You start standing tall with your feet close together and then bend over to place both hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Then you can either jump your feet or step your feet back behind you till you are at the top of a straight arm plank.
  • From here you control your body downwards by bending your elbows till your chest and thighs touch the ground.

  • Now from here you have a few options:  You can start by pushing your torso upwards, all while keeping your glutes and core engaged, and jumping your feet towards your hands (if you catch with your feet super wide or in the bottom of the squat…you got some mobility work to do.  No worries.  Your tight, which also means you’re cool.  I will be posting some mobility hacks weekly as well to work on these issues).  Or you can step your feet up towards your hands.  This is all dependent on skill level and strength. (I traditionally don’t recommend flopping on the ground like a fish or snaking, I like to avoid high risk of injury and I hope you do too)

  • Now that your feet are back to your hands you stand tall and end with a small jump (feet must leave the ground) and clap your hands over your head.
  • That’s 1 Burpee!

Don’t like text explanations?!  Boo hoo…Here is a video of me back in my hayday demonstrating a safe textbook Burpee:

Now…Like I said.  If you don’t have the skill and strength to execute the burpee in this fashion opt for stepping into a plank position and doing a controlled lower to the ground.  From here push your torso upwards (it’s ok to do a knee push up but make sure your glutes and core are activated, don’t snake!  That is bad for your body especially if you are doing high volume repetitions) and step your feet towards your hands.  This accommodates many levels of fitness and skill sets.

If you are still here…this is the workout:

10 min EMOM (10 Rounds):

  1. 10 Burpees or as many as you can get up to 10 in 30 seconds.  The goal here is to get your 10 done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  2. Take 30 seconds of rest whether you hit 10, 9, 8, etc. (if you got 0 chances are the workout was over before it started…)
  3. Once the first minute is complete, you start the second minute…and so forth until you have completed 10 minutes (10 Rounds)
  4. If you got 10 each minute and don’t know how to do math, you completed 100 Burpees.  Your welcome.

Burpees

What’s next?  Do the workout and let me know how you do!  Post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and see if you can get others to do it with you.  We are all on this fitness journey together, so…the more the merrier!  Make sure to tag @norcal__spartan and use #norcalspartan when you post your results.  I will be posting a workout each week and would love for you all to join in with me as I am trying to avoid the #dadbod before #babydean arrives!

 

P.S.  If you have any questions, post them in the comment section or send me a DM on my Instagram page.

Mobility Drill for the Calves

Got Tight Calves? I’m not talking Cool Baby Cows…

If you are a trail runner, Spartan Racer, track star, or just out there logging some miles for the pure joy of running this is a mobility drill you should be doing.  If you are putting in any sort of mileage, your calves and achilles start to take a beating especially when you are hitting over the 20+ mile range a week.  A runner should never have their Calves/Achilles become their “Achilles Heel” during a race!!  Check out this short video clip that I put together on how to keep your calves and achilles in running order…

P.S.  You can get the PVC at Lowes or Home Depot for just a few dollars.  If you are willing to spend the money for it, my favorite device to use is the Theragun!