I’m going to take a broad brush stroke and present to you TWO mobility archetypes… These people are all around you
You only have to look at the humans in your academy to know what I mean –
There’s the strong, muscled up, rigid types. When these cats get a hold of something it’s likely they’re taking it home with them… Their strength is astounding. (They often about that pressure-pass life)… Then there’s the limber, mobile types. These fam usually carry slightly less muscle, aren’t noticeably ‘strong’ however they’re durable as hell and can find space where others can’t. (They’re often about that bolo life)
Let’s look closer at the two
The first group I call ‘Fridges’, and in my experience they make up the majority of the grappling world. There’s many reasons for this, but the big ones are that our modern environment moulds our bodies into stiffness (sitting at desks, in cars, lack of daily movement etc). The second reason is that these humans often have a predisposition to strength – it comes more naturally to them. So they train with that strength. If they happen to strength train too, they often do it in a way that reinforces their lack of mobility (rather than promoting it)
Put simply, these guys lack range of motion in their joints… They’re at risk because once their joint gets pushed into a ‘no-go zone’, something’s gonna pop, or snap, or tear
Like that dude/gal who always taps early to your arm triangle – if only he could place his arms comfortably overhead, he may have had some more time to deal with your attack. Get it?
If you’re a Fridge, here’s what you need to do:
- Stretch more – You’re inclined to be inflexible so you need to invest some time in changing that. It’s going to be a long road. Just like getting your black belt, there’s no rush, amigo
- Train for range – Your intention when strength training should be to extract as much safe range from the joint as possible ie. your strength training should be flexibility-promoting, not vice-versa (quit with the bodybuilder-type partial reps, bro)
- Stay limber – don’t let yourself get fixed in any one position (like at a desk all day). Keep moving
Then we have the people on the other end of the spectrum –
These animals have all the range in their joints, but lack the necessary stability (or strength) to control the joint. Often called hypermobile, or bendy, I refer to these unique beasts as ‘Wet Noodles’
These cats are slippery. They will invert all day and smile at you while you attempt to break them with your heaviest stack pressure. They’re durable, i’m not gonna lie, but the problem here is that they’re at risk of over-extending their joint and sustaining an injury
If you’re a Wet Noodle, here’s what you need to do:
- Start lifting – you need strength and stability in them joints so regular strength training is going to help
- Be careful at your end range – you have a surplus of range in your joints, which means in any given movement you can easily go beyond what’s safe. Get good at knowing where this is and controlling your movements accordingly
- Don’t work excessively on flexibility. A bit of stretching to undo tension after class is fine, but nothing hardcore. You already have heaps
- Try not to get stacked ALL the time
Both the ‘Fridges’ and the ‘Wet Noodles’ posses a certain superpower…
Now, it’s not about reducing the natural super power that each group possesses – we wan’t the fridges to retain their strength and we want the wet noodles to retain their mobility. But, with a little more of the thing they lack, could you imagine the type of performance increases we might see?
Addressing the thing you lack will enable you to become more efficient, more athletic, and be less prone to injury. I’ll take two
This is why I don’t think Yoga is the best approach for BJJ, or weightlifting, or Crossfit, or any other pre-organised displicpline or sport. It’s not about doing one type of training to fix your woes. A more varied approach must be taken to increase your athletic ability, and decreasing your injury potential
So start by asking yourself:
Am I the Fridge, or the Wet Noodle?
Do I need more strength, or flexibility, or some of both?
In the Bulletproof program we aim to address BOTH of these areas simultaneously. We want to make you stronger and more mobile. Just like you might fold in chopped vegetables into the meat sauce so that your kids will actually eat it (or maybe you have to do this for yourself…), we’ve layered in the mobility and strength work in a way that you won’t have to sit there in pain, trying to stretch for hours –
The workouts are challenging, fun and fun. More importantly, you’ll notice after only a few weeks that you have more range of motion and more strength on the mats. Click here to take the free 7 day trial