personalized mobility

Your Personalized Mobility Game Plan
Written by TJ O’Brien

Ask yourself, “What is ONE movement where mobility is holding me back from my true potential?”

Possible answers include: Squats, pistols, pressing, whatever you want – remember to choose just one.

How to Create a Personalized Mobility Routine

Establish Your Goal Movement
When creating your routine, have the GOAL MOVEMENT in mind, not just the goal area. You’ll notice change much quicker this way, which typically leads to more motivated training, ESPECIALLY in this type of training, where results are hard-earned. 

Use a Tri-Pronged Approach
Once you know what movement/area you’ll be working on, think of your approach as tri-pronged: ‘open, connect, contract’. 

Find one movement to open the restriction, typically a stretch.

Find one to further refine the movement or your mind-muscle connection to the muscles that need to be strengthened.

Train a regressed or partial version of the goal movement -OR- train the focus area in isolation with an isometric.

Example #1
If my goal movement was pistols and the goal area was ankles, this would look like:

Open: Weighted Ankle Stretch with Banded Distraction

Connect: Eccentric-Focused Single-Leg Calf Raises

Contract: Assisted Pistol Eccentrics (with heel lift if needed)

Example #2
If my goal movement was squatting and the goal area was the lateral hip, this would look like:

Open: Piriformis Stretch

Connect: Cozy Leg Lifts 

Contract: Horse Stance

Incorporating This Into Your Game Plan
How many sets? How many reps? That is going to depend on the time you have available. Let’s assume it’s in the 10-15 minutes you have before class. 

Spend at least 2 minutes on the target area. That means for single-leg stretches, 2 minutes each side. If doing multiple sets, one could accumulate this time in shorter intervals.

Accumulate 30-60 seconds of time under tension for the focus area per set.

Accumulate 60+ seconds of time under tension for the focus area per set.

For our squatting/lateral hips example, the protocol could look like this: 

One to Three Sets of:
Piriformis Stretch x 60-120 seconds each side 
Cozy Leg Lift x 10 reps each side @1112 
Horse Stance x 30-60 seconds 

An Important Note for Mobility Work
Accumulation is more important than intensity. Daily stretching of 2-3,-30 second intervals is better than one, 4-5 minute stretch per week. And although goals involving changes in mobility can take a lot of persistence, the cool part is that if you have a routine, you just do as much of it as you can, in the time that you have. And then you do that again the next time you’re in the gym. And yes, again the next time, until you’ve done this same mobility routine for 4-6 weeks. 

Go deep, seek out the little details of the stretch you’re working on. Note the differences in how you’re feeling when you perform the goal movement in the gym.

Keeping it Fresh
And once you’ve tired of this routine, switch it up! Create a second version with three new movements. After 4-6 weeks of the above routine, one could transition to: 

One to Three Sets of:
Elevated Pigeon Stretch x 60-120 seconds each side 
Cross-Legged Kettlebell Side-Bend x 8 reps each side @3111
Booty Band Squats x 8 @2211

Invictus Mobility Training Ideas & Resources

Youtube Mind Muscle Class Playlist

Invictus Mobility Training Instagram

Let me know what you think in the comments!