Sunday, June 12, 2016

Strength Coaching 101: A Guide for Young Strength (Mobility in Athletes)

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The days of just having athletes lift weights, run, do some agility drills, and calling it quits are over. Mobility has become a topic of utmost importance in the world of strength and conditioning.  As a strength coach our main priority should be injury reduction. You notice I do not say injury prevention, this is because no amount or type of training can completely prevent injury, but you can greatly reduce the occurrence of injuries. Good mobility is one of the biggest factors in reduction of injury for athletes.
Mobility drills can be done either before or after a training session. They can be performed during in between sets, but the athletes have a tendency of rushing through them if this is the case.  These drills are extremely important and should be focused on for the duration of the drill. If the athletes do not focus on the drills at the time they are performing them the athletes will still reap the benefits, but not to their full extent.
A simple acronym can be used when performing and proscribing mobility exercises. KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid, is the best way to think about mobility. You do not need to prescribe 30 different mobility drills for an athlete’s shoulders, 2-3 per session will do for any athlete. In that same thought not every athlete needs the same drills. Look at your athletes and see what is most needed for their particular issues.
One of the best resources out for good mobility drills is the textbook by Dr. Kelly Starrett, and Glen Cordoza Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. This book is a great resource to have in any strength coach’s library and refer to often. Every time I have looked at this book I have found new drills and ideas for athletes. I recommend purchasing this book as soon as possible.
Spiderman.jpgAthletes may take time to buy into the idea of mobility, but once they see the benefits it will be their favorite part of training. One suggestion is to dedicate a day each week to mobility, and use it as an active recovery day. Focus on it, get the athletes better, and reduce likelihood of injury all in one session.
Mobility exercises can be a strength coach's secret weapon in a training program, if utilized correctly.
Starrett, K., & Cordoza, G. (n.d.). Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance.
Wilson, R. (2015, December 29). The Importance of Daily Mobility For Athletes. Retrieved June 05, 2016, from

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