Gaining Mobility in the Off-Season
Written by TJ O’Brien
Matt Fraser, Dmitri Klokov, Simone Biles. They’ve all got it. An extremely large base.
Not a base of fans or supporters, but a base of general physical preparedness, or GPP.
Developing a broad base can be done in conjunction with building the “top of the pyramid,” but the progress of the top is dependent on the width of the base.
Each of these athletes has been working on different top-level skills, but all have been improving their base for their entire lives. As a result, they’ll keep a TON of their fitness, even when they bring their routine back to baseline or stop working out altogether.
Mobility is at the BASE of your fitness pyramid.
The adaptations take the longest to come, but they stick around the longest. And this is why it makes sense to start in your off-season, although starting is always better than kicking the can down the road…
When you self-assess, is your overhead position feeling unrestricted? How about your squat, overhead squat? Do you have a plan to start strengthening these things?
Off-Season Mobility Plan
Starting in the off-season provides an opportunity to set yourself up for success. You can develop new training habits to support the goal of broadening your mobility. For example, including some sets and reps of targeted mobility training in your warm-up or cool-down can have a big impact.
You can stand to add a little additional volume/time in your training. Did we mention that this is a form of training? That’s because stretching causes hypertrophy, and much of the work we do involves more than stretching alone. Mind Muscle classes incorporate gymnastics-style flexibility drills, isometrics, compression work and positional strengthening exercises, in addition to passive stretching.
Will doing extra mobility interfere with my other training?
You will get your heart rate up a bit, and you’ll be dealing with some discomfort, but you’ll be able to keep your breathing under control. In fact, breathing steadily while tolerating discomfort is just one of the ancillary skills one can develop out of taking this training seriously.
The Mind Muscle sessions we offer are often used by our members as recovery sessions, providing an opportunity to actively recover, move through soreness, and make some positive mobility gains simultaneously.
It’s one of those annoying cliches that still rings true. “Imagine if you had started a year ago,” and inevitably, “Imagine what you can do by this time next year.” But hey, I’m here for it. I can tell you from experience that the mobility gains are the sweetest because they pay dividends throughout the gym and even daily life. Begin building that base now, you won’t regret it.