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Introduction to Maintenance and Mobility

(Episode transcribed directly from the video)

Hey guys, SGX coach Mike Confer here at MROC, the Mud Run and Obstacle Course training center in Oceanside, California bringing you our very first edition of MOB of the Week. This is a brand-new episode series that we're really excited to bring to you. You may have seen us post in the past with different mobilization techniques and a few different ways that you can perform maintenance on your body and we really said, you know what, we've got a lot more information we want to put out there, we've got so many different techniques that we'd like to explore and educate our members on, so why not just do a weekly broadcast where we can talk to you about how to take care of yourselves, alright? We're out here doing all these crazy races, doing all these crazy, you know, dynamic movements in the gym and what we want to do is prevent you from getting hurt and keep you moving in the best way possible. So, today's episode is really going to set the framework for what to expect. Now, there's a lot of techniques we're going to learn over the next several weeks but I can't just give them to you all at once, you really have to understand what mobilization is, how it works and how to do it and how all these pieces come together to get the most out of this series. So, please hang with me for just the next few minutes while we discuss a little bit about our expectations and then that way you'll be really setting yourself up for success moving forward. 

So, where are we going to be filming this stuff? Most of these episodes are going to be shot right here in our mobility lab; if you don't recognize this space, we're in the second level of MROC training, we’ll refer to this throughout the week as our mobility lab. Why is that? Because we encourage our members to come up here before and after class to do work on themselves, get a more thorough warm-up before the start of a group training session or maybe to come up here after a heavy lifting session or a running interval and restore the body back to proper range of motion and help cool down and recover from the damage that you just did upon yourself. 

How are we going to do that? Well, we've got a lot of great tools. It starts with just open space, essentially, you can do anything as long as you have enough room to move but what's really cool tools we have roll flex devices up here and different charts on how to use them, we have some voodoo floss wrapped up and hanging off the wall, we have a crossover symmetry system, different therapy bands, mobility bands for banded distraction and flossing techniques that you'll learn in the next few weeks, we've got mobility sacks, mobility peanuts, lacrosse balls, foam rollers, you name it; if it's a mobility torture device, we probably have it. We have several smaller foam rollers up here, we have bigger foam rollers down there and again, before we talk about how to use each one of these things specifically, you have to understand what mobilization is.

Now, a lot of the techniques that were going to be discussing comes directly from Dr. Kelly Starrett who is the pioneer of the CrossFit mobility system. Now I'm a CrossFit coach, I also have my CrossFit Mobility Strongman and Endurance Certifications, so you can definitely say that I prescribe to crossfit training system. I'm also an SGX coach and an obstacle specialist, so that's the world and the sport that I live in, I just like to use a lot of the CrossFit techniques and modalities to help our athletes get a really diverse training system. So, to talk to you about what mobility is who better than say it himself Dr. Kelly Starrett, so this is where I'd like to introduce you to his book, ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’, it's really a great book, if you don't have it and you have the time to read it check it out. But, basically, if you go to 205 it says this, and I’m just gonna read a short little bit, “I define mobilization as a movement based integrated full body approach which takes into account all of the elements that limit movement and performance. These include short and tight muscles, soft tissue and joint capsule and restrictions, motor control problems, joint range of motor dysfunction in neuro dynamic issues. So, in short, mobilization is a tool to improve your capacity to move and perform efficiently”, man that was said well, I'm glad I read it from the book cos I couldn't have said it any better. 

Alright. Now, another great resource that we have for you up here in the mobility lab are these mobilities posters. So, these are mobility RX prescriptions for different activities that you're most likely doing in your training, especially if you're training here with us, these are coming directly from So, on each one of these you've probably got 15 to 30 different techniques on how to improve your position or alleviate pain when doing certain activities for running, pressing, pushing, you know, overhead movements, getting in a front rack position, again, a lot of things that we do in our training are referenced here in these posters. So, if you're having a hard time getting into those positions or if you're performing those activities and experiencing pain, you probably want to come reference some of these charts and start getting to the bottom of what's going on with your body.

Now, last thing I want to talk to you a little bit about before we go, before we close out this episode is, again, the expectations of this series and how to get the most out of it, so this is where I really need you to pay attention, okay? Any time you're performing maintenance on yourself, and that's what we're trying to do, you have to look at three different systems - your mobility systems - and what three things need to be addressed and those three things are going to be joint mechanics and sliding surfaces functions and muscular dynamics, so all three of those things have to work synergistically with one another, that's your trifecta of mobility, okay? So, making sure that the joints can get put into proper positions, okay? 

It starts with joint mechanics, okay? Our joints should be able to get in proper positions, our shoulders, our elbows, our knees, our spine should be able to be in a specific arrangement, okay, and you have to own that, so that's the first thing we have to look at and we'll talk a little bit more about that next week. The second thing is Sliding Surface Dysfunction. So, our body is comprised in all these different layers of things that should be able to move freely and independently of one another, so our ligaments and our nerves and our tendons and our muscles and our skin and everything else should be very supple, hence the book, Supple Leopard, we should be able to move freely. However, we tend to get knotted up locked out and get these adhesions in our body, so a lot of our episodes are going to talk about different facial release techniques that we can do with things like lacrosse balls and foam rollers and other devices to help restore suppleness through your muscles which brings us to our third mobility system which is muscular dynamics. 

Similar to active stretching but experimenting with full end-range of motion and moving within end-range of motion, not just statically holding but moving through the end range in our different positions, so working all three of those mobility systems is how you're going to get the most out of every mobility session. And now we've got the final five things - I know I'm almost done - the last five things I want to talk to you about. Anytime that you do mobilization on yourself and you spend time mobilizing, there's five things that you should do. The first thing, number one, is test and retest. So, if you have a hard time getting into a squat and your chest collapses and you can't go down all the way and you want to work on that, well, go ahead and test your squat and what does that range of motion look like and then spend some time working on different areas of your body maybe referencing the chart or talking to a coach or taking it home something that you learn from one of our videos, work on it and then test your squat again and you get more depth alright, how do things look, did you get improvement? If you didn't, you were working the wrong thing or you were doing it the wrong way, so always test and retest. The second thing is to continue working upstream and downstream. So, if you are just doing some daily maintenance on your IT-band, you've got this really gnarly hot spot you're working on it and that's all you ever do, well, you could be missing the root cause of that problem. So, you want to work upstream and downstream, don't just stay on hotspots and trigger points, you know, in problem areas, work upstream and downstream and try to get down to the cause of that problem and see if you can find other areas that may be causing it. The third thing that we want to think about when we're doing this mobilization on ourselves is to not really get stuck in one position. You want to make sure that you're having some fun with this and you're moving around and you're experimenting similar to what I was just saying about working upstream and downstream but don't just have the same go-to mobilization techniques, continue to expand your catalogue of techniques and movements and exercises and mobility techniques you can use, that way it doesn't get stale and you can find new things to work on. And anytime that you're doing this, we want to make sure that we want to commit to doing it daily, okay? So, it's not just enough to do it every once in awhile, you really have to make a steady commitment; I want that commitment to be a realistic one, right? Don't say “alright coach, I love the idea I'm going to do it an hour a day of mobility”, if you know you don't have an hour to spare - but guess what, I can guarantee you've got five or ten minutes maybe 15 minutes, maybe it's before after class, maybe it's first thing when you wake up, maybe it's before you go to bed, whatever and whenever it's going to be, make sure you make a daily commitment to yourself. 

I'm going to make a weekly commitment to you to come back at you live once a week, Thursday right around noon and give you some great information to continue, you know, building your database of things you can do, different tools and techniques for you, so the next one will be next Thursday. I can't wait for you guys to tune in and check it out, I got great information coming your way. If you can't catch us live, you can check our Facebook page and you should see it on the thread there somewhere or go check out our blog section where we'll catalogue all this stuff for you, so there will be a library of all the stuff that we ever shoot here at the mobility lab at MROC training. 
Again, coach Mike, I hope you freakin have an awesome day. Until we meet again, I want you to continue training hard and get dirty. Aroo!

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