An 8-Week Mobility Program for Masters Olympic Weightlifting
Most masters-aged athletes entering into weightlifting, despite their legal age, are young when it comes to time spent in sport. As a result, they should approach training in much the same fashion as brand-new athletes - except their bodies come into the game already somewhat beat up and immobile from life.
In this article, I will discuss the mobilization tools I now put as a requirement into my programming.
Why You Need This Program
Much has been written about the issues brought on by the chronic sitting inherent in our desk jobs - tight hip flexors, lumbar hyperextension, thoracic kyphosis, upper cross syndrome, and protruding necks, not to mention that many hours sitting in the chair means that many fewer hours put toward playing, moving, or exercising.
"If you expect yourself, as a new masters weightlifter, to jump headlong into the intensity of daily training without proper mobilization and grooving the right patterns, then it’s only a matter of time before your already compromised body breaks down."
If you have been sitting at a desk for decades, or even grooving in other negative movement patterns for many years before finding the sport of weightlifting, then you can be sure it’s going to take some time to unmake the old and build a stronger healthier version in its place.
If you expect yourself, as a new masters weightlifter, to jump headlong into the intensity of daily training without proper mobilization and grooving the right patterns, then it’s only a matter of time before your already compromised body breaks down. This will keep you from the joys of being a true athlete and limit your potential in the sport of weightlifting before you’ve even found your wings.
In my first article, we discussed some auxiliary exercises that can be added in an effort to build trunk stabilization and strength in the supporting musculature of the core. I believe this component, coupled with daily mobilization is a critical part of any program for masters, specifically those of you new to this sport.
In this article, I will suggest and go over a few mobilization tools that I now put as a requirement into the programming for my athletes. I have found that few newer athletes spend enough quality time mobilizing if it is not prescribed. More advanced athletes understand the importance of mobilization and generally don’t need to be goaded into doing it.
I've put together a collection of videos to help you with the exercises in this program.
I have suggested whether to use these mobility pieces before or after, but once you’ve dialed in the areas in which you need specific work and/or more of it, you may play around with the order. If you need to mobilize in order to move well enough to perform a lift, then you absolutely need to mobilize restricted areas ahead of time. If you know that after a workout, you’ll feel better if you preemptively hit certain areas to avoid tightness the next day, then save those tools for after that day’s training.
However, like the lifts and auxiliary work, this mobility work is part of the programming and is not optional. Of course, once you begin to understand the importance of this work, you will no longer need convinced and cease to see it as a compulsory element, and more of a useful and beneficial necessity.
Video Demos and Training Plans
There are videos to accompany this mobility program, separated for every two weeks. If there is a link, the video for that specific exercise may be viewed via that link. The links to all the videos are also listed below.
You must spend three to five minutes on each exercise, depending upon the amount of change that is occurring. The more change, the longer you need to work that area.
Note: I have been fortunate to have many great teachers along the way who helped me learn these tools. Jeff and Carolyn Alexander of Network Fitness; Keely Luna, circus performer and our stretching coach at CrossFit Survival; Matt LaBosco and Kirk Albert of Optimum Performance Systems in Montrose, California; and although I don’t know Kelly Starrett personally, his book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” is a must-have reference for any coach.
More Like This:
- An 8-Week Longevity-Based Program for Masters Weightlifters
- What Makes Masters Competition Different From Regular Competition?
- Reset Your Mobility With These 3 Essential Movement Patterns
- New on Breaking Muscle Today
1. Jeff Alexander, “Rumble Roller Certification Manual: The Alexander Method of SMR”, (Network Fitness, LLC, 2014), 7-51.
2. Kelly Starrett, Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance, (Victory Belt Publishing, Inc., 2013), 226-383.