Mobility: Part 2
So, now that you know your mobility needs work (see previous post here), we have some ideas for improving your mobility and your performance.
The very first thing you can do to improve muscle, joint, and connective tissue health is drink more water! Without enough water in your body, it just doesn't work right. CrossFit Endurance says a 1% state of dehydration can negatively affect your performance by 10-12%. That is a lot of performance to leave on the table for something as easy as drinking water! From their research, they have determined that your baseline water consumption should be half our your body weight in ounces each day. So, if you weight 150 pounds, that's 75 ounces (over 9 cups). If you exercise, you need to add at least 16oz/hour to that! The good news? Coffee counts!
Kelly Starrett has a simple test to see if you are in fact dehydrated (hint: you probably are, but you can do the test anyhow). Cross one leg over your knee. Find the flat part of your shin bone. Take the tip of your thumb and press down as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds. Let go. Is there an indentation where your thumb was? If so, you better go get a glass of water!
Next, you need to work on your mobility every. single. day. Whether you hit the box or not, spending 10 or 15 minutes per day on mobility will help you make leaps and bounds on the days you do hit the box. So, whether it's time before your workout and/or time after, or even at home on the floor before bed, the time you spend will pay dividends.
Sorry, it's not good enough to run through some quick stretches and call that your "mobility" for the day. There's a difference between stretching and mobility—and you want long-term effects of mobility work. Starrett says, "Stretching only focuses on lengthening short and tight muscles. Mobilization is a tool to globally address movement and performance problems." So whether it's your ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows, or wherever else, finding the time to work them will bring you the gains you want!
For some ideas on what to do at home, check out http://www.mobilitywod.com/ or talk to your coach about specific issues you want to address.