When working through an assessment with athletes, one of the most common goals I hear is, “I want to increase mobility.”
Then, through conversation, they will say “I’ve tried everything and nothing works” or “I have to do mobility exercises everyday or else I lose it.”
When we think about increasing mobility at the shoulder, hip, and spine, what are our go-to’s?
CAR’s (Controlled Articular Rotations) are always a big one. However, they aren’t great because we can’t carve out more space by creating pressure in the joints.
We would almost want to do the opposite and create less pressure in the joints by finding more space via breathing patterns.
Also in sport, how our body reacts with gravity at the foot or hand is crucial due to the role it can play up and down the chain at our shoulders and hips.
So when choosing “mobility” exercises we want to make sure that we have contact with the ground whether at the foot or the hand. Standing up aimlessly waving our limbs around in the air to increase mobility doesn’t make sense for what we need to happen in sport.
In sport, our body needs to react through the ground to generate force up through the chain. Increasing movement in certain areas/ joints allows us to be more efficient in transferring that force through our movements.
Now that we have covered the basic requirements of increasing mobility, let’s look at how we can get the job done.
Increasing mobility in baseball
When looking at increasing mobility at the shoulder, hip and joint, the first two places I look at are at the rib cage and the pelvis.
- Can we stack our rib cage over our pelvis when required?
- Can our rib cage move through flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation?
- Can we internally rotate our pelvis on either side?
All of these movements help set the foundation for how well we will be able to move at the shoulder, hip and spine.
When mapping out a plan to increase ranges of motion, no matter the joint, it will pay dividends to look globally.
Then as you check boxes along the chain, move your search more locally. This will make the exercise prescription pretty much write itself.
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Looking for more info on mobility in baseball? Read here.