Mobilize me
March 26, 2013 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I've been working out, lifting weights, on and off for five years, but I've never paid any attention to mobility/stretching. This is dumb. Please help me come up with a defensible plan.

Workout details: Three times a week I do a 3x5 style workout (Rippetoe's "Wichita Falls", to be exact). I follow that with one round of Tabata sprints on a stationary bike. I play soccer once a week, and I'd like to eventually add in long-ish runs (no more than 5 miles) twice a week. In the next few weeks as it gets warmer I'll begin riding my bike to work as well - 3 miles one way, not much in the way of hills.

My question is, what should I be doing to prevent injuries and to ensure I'm moving in the most efficient way? I know about (and like) MobilityWOD, but I'm having a hard time generalizing the advice and workouts shown to a routine. Happy to hear about pre and post-workout exercises as well as stuff done standalone.
posted by downing street memo to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I did only biking/lifting for a few years and was starting to lose some mobility; adding in some yoga has helped. is fairly useful. I just pick the poses that I like and that stretch things that need to be stretched, and do it while I'm watching tv without worrying about the breathing and woo elements. The fact that varying degrees of balance are required for various things makes it more interesting than just sitting and holding a stretch.
posted by ecsh at 7:01 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I hate P90X, but I really like the yoga video. Try that (see if you have any friends who can loan it to you), and keep the movements that work for you.
posted by PCup at 7:04 PM on March 26, 2013

I think so much of this is knowing where you tend to get injured/be tight and setting up a warmup around those areas. For me, I've had shoulder and hip injuries of various severity, so I begin every workout with hip mobility and strengthening work, and a very abbreviated diesel crew shoulder warmup. Unfortunately it's really hard to know what might get injured in the future and every body is different (my knees for example are totally fine so long as I am doing a good balance of strength on both quads and hamstrings but many people have trickier knees than me). I think trying to fully mobilize every part of your body is unrealistic unless your whole job is working out, so you have to pick your battles.

No matter what, I think you can't go wrong with a good foam roll at least pre-workout. It will immediately increase your thoracic spine mobility which is great for your shoulders and most people tend to be fairly tense in that area, and it's good for some general muscle loosening all over your body.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:09 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

In addition to yoga and pilates, I'm trying to get started on this stretch routine.
posted by loriginedumonde at 9:40 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

My trainer has me do 15 minutes of cardio followed by dynamic stretching (a total of about 7 minutes) as a warmup before lifting, and a full-body static stretch as a cool down after. Results so far seem good; I've been working out for about 6 months this way and haven't hurt myself. I feel like the time spent has been a good investment.

Yoga, though, is really how I learned to stop worrying and love the stretch, and I've replaced some elements of the full-body stretch that my trainer designed for me with yoga poses.
posted by BrashTech at 6:22 AM on March 27, 2013

2nding Starting Stretching. It's straightforward and presented clearly, unlike MobilityWOD.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:27 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

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