Grizzly Way 130213 (Mobility Assessment)
I’ll cut right to it, today wasn’t the best day. I’ve been riding a high lately so it was bound to slump, I was hoping I could make it at least a week. I’m far more frustrated by my mobility progress than my lifts, the mistakes and poor positions I find myself in while lifting are directly resultant from mobility, so that makes sense but sucks at the same time. I realized the I never went over exactly what my mobility assessment told me. First I was surprised that my shoulder mobility was actually pretty good, and likely not causing many of my issues, I’m missing a bit of internal rotation on the left hand side, that’s about it. I’m also missing some thoracic mobility but considering I don’t really play a rotational sport, its likely not causing any issues.
The bigger issues start at the hip. Hip external rotation gets a lot of time in the spotlight, the knees out cue is one of the biggest ones. I’m missing a bit of external rotation, about 10 degrees worth if I remember correctly. The larger issue is my internal rotation, I have basically zero. It’s hard to explain but I’ll try. Basically if you’re missing all of your internal rotation then you’ll have to go around it to obtain properly deep hip flexion, meaning the bottom of a squat, and the work around is to turn the foot out and unlock the knee to compensate which creates an unstable, injury prone environment. You combine that with ankle mobility issues and it gets worse.
The ankle bit I’ve talked a lot about already, it’s often overlooked but crucial for taller lifters, in order to create space for the femur to bring the hips to the ankles, the knees must travel forward. In order to keep the knees tracking forward and properly out at least over the middle of the foot, and heels in contact with the ground, we need at least 3 inches of ankle travel over the big toe. I have about an inch, maybe an inch and a half. That’s the biggest one, as soon as I hit my ankles hard enough the hip issues will start to sort themselves out with more squatting.
In order of importance, ankle dorsiflexion, hip internal rotation, hip external rotation, shoulder internal rotation. Fix all of those and I’m good to go!
Hang Clean 3RM; 2 x 3 @ 90% of 3RM 185; 165
Clean Pull 5 x 5 @ 85% of Clean 1RM 204
Overhead Squat 3RM; 2 x 3 @ 90% of 3RM 145; 130
GHD Situps 5 x 10; rest 1 min 5:55:00
I had two principal foci during the hang cleans, the first was to finish on my heels to avoid jumping forward keeping the bar closer and hopefully receiving it with a more upright torso, as I have a tendency to soften in the upper back. The second was work on speed, unfortunately today felt very very slow, especially snapping my elbows up and really locking the bar into my shoulders. My goal was to hit 205 for a tripple today, but some of my instability in the bottom of the front squat held me back.
The focus on the clean pull shifted, my principal concern was the start position, you see me adjust it several times trying to keep my shoulders slightly in front of the bar, glutes loaded, hips down, back straight and in flexion. You see my upper back is soft, my hips are on the high side. At some point you just have to do the lift, many of these are mobility concerns rather than technique. Technique wise my focus was on staying on the heels and really keeping full power through hip extension.
Overhead squats…most people hate them because they demand the most of your mental toughness, muscle control, and mobility. All of the same squatting cue’s apply, driving through the heels, keeping the knees out, chest up; then you add the extra bit about engaged shoulders and traps and good bar position over the shoulders/over the hips/over the heels. It really starts to add up. The overhead squat also has the most demand on the ankle mobility as it requires the most upright torso. I was actually thinking my patella was going to pop out of my knee sleeve but it actually didn’t bother me. Obviously its not great, and I torque my shoulder to maintain balance but it wasn’t awful.
In any case – today was not the best day. I’ve set a behavioral goal of not letting negativity sour entire events, bad lifts should not ruin whole workouts; bad events at work should not crossover to my dealings with others, bad days will not sour the whole week. This will be a large hurdle for me, but important for obtaining my outcome goals. Tomorrow I will do some rowing, get some extra mobility and soft tissue work in, and shake it off. I can’t wait for the day when a pvc air squat doesn’t send a shiver of shame and fear down my spine. Until then, there’s always MobilityWOD…and ice