Whilst you'll probably be able to find all the mobility tools you'll need in the box, that isn't much use to you when you're at home. Creating your own mobility toolkit isn't expensive, and ensures you always have the equipment you need, when you need it. Here's what you'll need:

Foam Roller

The foam roller is the most popular type of mobility tool, and with good reason. It's a versatile piece of kit, and can be used to facilitate self-myofascial release across the body - providing similar benefits to sports massage, at a fraction of the cost. Identify trigger points by rolling the affected area, using your own body weight to apply pressure on any tight spots for around 60 seconds. You should feel the trigger point release, along with a reduction in any pain you're experiencing.

Use your foam roller to release trigger points in your:

  • Obliques,
  • Lats,
  • Quads,
  • Adductors,
  • IT band,
  • Calves.

Mobility Balls

Sometimes, a foam roller doesn't quite hit the spot in those hard-to-reach areas. To get the same result, you need something smaller and more versatile, like a massage ball or lacrosse ball. Ideally, you should make sure you have a few balls in your toolkit, as different areas of the body will respond best to different densities. If an area is particularly painful, it can be a good idea to use a softer ball to begin with, and progress to a firmer, more targeted ball once it starts to release.

Use mobility balls to release trigger points in your:

  • Traps,
  • Delts,
  • Lats,
  • Chest,
  • Glutes,
  • Hips,
  • Calves,
  • Feet.

Peanut Ball

Whilst regular massage balls work well on pretty much any area of the body, they can't be used to mobilise the thoracic spine. Instead, you should use a peanut ball, or make your own by taping together two lacrosse balls. This will help release trigger points and reduce stiffness of the thoracic spine, to both improve movement patterns and help you recover faster.

Use your peanut ball to improve mobility in your:

  • Thoracic spine.

Resistance Bands

If you have restricted range of motion in any area or joint, you should consider using resistance bands to mobilise the area, and make your stretching much more effective. They have many uses, and can also be used to activate any muscle groups that aren't functioning properly. For best results, you should include a couple of different resistance bands in your toolkit, varying the strength of the band. A lighter resistance band is better suited to joints such as the wrists and ankles, whereas a stronger band will be more effective when mobilising the lats or opening the hips.

Use resistance bands to increase range of motion in your:

  • Shoulders,
  • Lats,
  • Elbows,
  • Wrists,
  • Hips,
  • Hamstrings,
  • Calves,
  • Ankles.

The Mobility Bible

Once you have all the equipment, you need to know what to do with it!

Becoming a Supple Leopard is the mobility manual written by Kelly Starrett, the founder of San Francisco CrossFit and creator of Mobility WOD. It contains everything you need to know about mobility, and provides a detailed and targeted approach for restoring effective movement patterns :

Performance is what drives the human animal, but the human animal can be brought to an abrupt halt by dysfunctional movement patterns. Oftentimes, the factors that impede performance are invisible not only to the untrained eye, but also the majority of athletes and coaches. Becoming a Supple Leopard makes the invisible visible. In this one of a kind training manual, Starrett maps out a detailed system comprised of more than two hundred techniques and illuminates common movement errors that cause injury and rob you of speed, power, endurance and strength. Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or simply someone wanting to live healthy and free from restrictions, Becoming a Supple Leopardwill teach you how to maintain your body and harness your genetic potential.

If you want to improve your mobility, but don't really know where to start, this book is an essential addition to your mobility toolkit. As well as providing you with mobility exercises for the whole body, it helps you identify the areas you should be focusing on.

What are your essential mobility tools?
To start creating your own mobility toolkit, check out our online shop.

June 15, 2015 — KITBOX [ ]

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