Show of hands, who's got a "mobility" issue? I suspect that was more unanimous than this semblance of an election, but we won't get into politics here. We will get into making you all better, and starting with improving movement! Coming on the tail end of a conversation with the 10am class about restoring some lost range of motion, I thought it was worthy to hit broadcast to the rest of us on this misunderstood concept.
The key to restoring all movement is and always will be simply movement. It need not be as complicated as we, or the industry makes it. The question, or obstacle comes in, when we are so physically limited that we are not capable of getting ourselves into position. A position of potential. It might be a notable question to you why were always putting lacrosse balls in painful places etc. I promise its not just so we can see your private face!
Addressing everyones deficiencies is a bit cumbersome and tedious. So we compile data, averages, and generalities and come up with our list of most effective, and common practices. Because above all else restoring movement takes consistency. When administering soft tissue correction which is what you use the balls for, were freeing up a short term range of motion. Without getting into lengthy and boring anatomy, we are essentially tricking the muscle or area into thinking its under load and to release tension to protect itself. This window of increased flexibility only really lasts on the high side of 3-15 mins respectively. Its what we do in this time that is so important. Compound, functional movement.
Theres two considerations to be made, or standards of excellence needed with this approach. The first of which is to work through the problem area, not around it. In a lot of these drills, I see you all soften an elbow here, release some weight there, or move the joint in the path of least resistance. Most importantly is understanding the integrity of the movement of the joint/limb, etc. and working at your end range, not around it. By doing this were able to stretch the tissue, pin it down, and subsequently release it. Softening your elbow etc, does not allow for the loading of the tissue and in some cases negates even addressing the problem. The second consideration is on quality of movement post mobility. We typically mobilize before skill work, this is to allow you to focus on mechanics, and consistency, and not intensity. If you're going to just do the mobility work and then go slog through some movement, there is literally no help for you there.
Assuming you tensioned the system, and optimized your position, and then moved virtuously, the sad part is that upon concluding this extravaganza you're going to lose it all in a short window of time. However before you get sad, or mad, the answer to this is simply consistency. If were addressing this frequently, as in daily, and moving virtuously as much as possible you have a recipe for a very healthy pursuit of fitness. This is why were constantly addressing the drills we use. Simply for consistency. There are countless other things you can and should be doing, these are just the ones who pay the largest, broadest dividends for us. Improving human movement will always be a personal pursuit. As always, the key is always on quality. Strive every day in everything to do it the best and you will succeed.