Ahhh! It hurts so good! Ok so here's the deal. We all need to do more mobility work! In fact, I'd venture to say that 90% of us don't do as much mobility work as we should and I am definitely one of those people. I've been inflexible for as long as I can remember. I remember in 5th and 6th grade when we had to do those Presidential physical fitness tests. One of those tests was the sit and reach where we were supposed to sit with our legs in a V and reach forward as far as we could. We weren't supposed to lunge our upper bodies forward to reach. It was supposed to be a slow and easy reach forward......I was the kid that lunged forward. I couldn't get as far as I was supposed to unless I did it that way. Needless to say, I didn't stretch then and it never really bothered me. I could still play all the sports and I still excelled, so no harm no foul right? Wrong! Enter CrossFit.
I did my fair share of Oly lifting in high school, but we were never really pushed to do overhead movements like jerks or snatches. Now all of a sudden I had to figure out how to put a heavy barbell over my head and keep it there, not an easy task when you can't even put your arms by your ears when you reach up overhead! So for the last 2 years, I have been compensating. I compensate by sticking my head through a kettlebell swing like a turtle instead of bringing the bell all the way over my head. I compensate by severely hyper-extending my back anytime I need to push a weight overhead, I compensate, compensate, compensate and it's finally getting to me. It kind of came to a head last month at the Fittest Games. We had to do fifteen 95lb snatches in the middle of a WOD. They took me forever!! I know, I know.....they were 95lb snatches...that's heavy! But it wasn't the weight. I'm a strong girl. I can clean 175lbs, I can back squat 225lbs, I can front squat 190lbs......95lb snatches shouldn't be that hard for me but my shoulder mobility makes them impossible. I can't drop under the bar quick enough while keeping the bar over my head....my lack of mobility always makes the bar drift out in front of me and when the weight is heavy, I fail. After that competition, I decided enough was enough and it was time to really get this mobility thing worked out....literally.
I'd heard of Airrosti before, I'd even had my psoas released at a Team Competition held by Bayou City CrossFit, but I'd never actually been to a treatment session. I told Dr. Matt Arnold about my shoulder woes and he convinced me to come in for a real session and let me tell you it was amazing. Don't get me wrong, it was painful! I'm sure Dr. Matt was incredibly entertained by all my laughing, moaning, and groaning. And more than once I almost wiggled right off the table....especially when he dug into my biceps tendon! Ouch! But in just one session, I think I gained a good 3-4 inches in flexion in both arms! I could also raise my arms all the way up by my ears while staying in the frontal plane. Crazy!! I can't believe I hadn't gotten this done sooner. Dr. Matt explained that every muscle is covered by a layer of fascia and the more work we do on our muscles, the more we lift, the more shortened our muscles become. Now we can prevent this shortening by diligent stretching and mobility work after and between workouts but, like I said, we all need to do more mobility work! So as our muscles shorten and contract, the fascia that surrounds our muscles contracts and kinks too (like a sausage casing) And once they get to that point, it's almost impossible to get that mobility and stretch back in our muscles without getting the fascia released. Or in other words, I was never going to fix my mobility without Dr. Matt bringing the pain! He also explained that I was going to be able to increase my work capacity just from increasing my mobility. In other words, I'm going to be a better CrossFitter, without actually doing any more CrossFit! So after my session, Dr. Matt showed me a thing or two on the foam roller and I promised to keep at it. As proof, I got Neal to take a few pics of my morning foam rolling session today. Check out the pain face in the second pic! Ok so foam rolling isn't that fun and it hurts but it's going to make me better. And Dr. Matt promised that it gets easier! I have two more appointments with Dr. Matt and I can't wait to see how far we get! This is probably going to benefit me more than anything I have been doing in the gym as far as my training goes. If you're serious about becoming the best athlete that you can be, I'd definitely give Airrosti a chance. You can make an appointment by calling their number 800-404-6050. Call up Dr. Matt and tell him to bring the pain for you!