T Nation

Mobility and Recovery


Where does mobility, flexibility, foam rolling, fit into a weight lifting routine? what are easy quick mobility drills other than the Agile 8, and what are some non-time consuming recovery methods eg (ice baths, epsom salt baths ect.)


To be honest my performance never got any better as a powerlifter from extra mobility stuff. I think it is good and necessary for a lot of people but you should only be doing as much as needed. I almost never foam roll, I stretch my hip flexors on occasion and groin before I squat the night before. I think people should switch their focus over to more stabilization than mobilization. I can spend all day foam rolling my quads and doing hip mobility but is it going to make me squat better? Not from my experience. Stabilizing your midsection is going to take care of your peripheries better than any SMR or static stretch.

For recovery I really like epsom baths especially cause they are pretty relaxing and help me relieve stress which you should also consider a part of recovery.


I never do these things. Are they required?


how do you warmup groin hip flexors?


I just do a basic hip flexor stretch off the edge of a couch, and for groin i will lay face down on the floor and spread my knees apart to open it up. Before I squat or deadlift I do some basic leg swings and internal external rotations, glute bridges and im good to go.


A good way to help with hip and groin mobility is to warm up with lunges at the start of every session. You can stay in the down position at the end of the sets for a long hip flexor stretch if you like but I aren’t overly keen on static stretching as did it for years and it basically did nothing. Dynamic stretching on the other hand such as lunges works well at freeing up hip, groin, legs and overall a good way to just warm up.

Foam rolling at the end of most sessions and hanging from a bar periodically throughout a session are other ways of keeping the body from getting too stiff. My spine always clicks,cracks etc… when I hang from a bar at the end of a legs session. I see it as a way of decompression. Whether that actually happens or not isn’t the point. It makes the back feel better and that’s what matters most.


I don’t do any of these things either. Usually, my warm ups consist of doing lightweight of the movement itself. Warming up the joints, making sure form is down, and obtaining mind to muscle connection before loading weight. Once the joints, tendons, and muscles are warm, I don’t bother wasting time doing warm up sets with each exercise, mostly just the main lifts.

Recovery is predominantly based on my diet and sleep. Other remedies may feel good like Epsom salt baths and such, but from what I’ve noticed, they don’t aid in recovery substantially. Probably the only muscles I stretch frequently are my hamstrings, because tight hams will inhibit ROM in some movements, and lead to a tight lower back IME.

As for mobility, playing sports help out with that. Football and softball mostly.


I actually do both. I use the foam roller to warm up (increased blood flow in “rolled” areas) and for realeasing tension in tight muscles. I do static stretching after my workouts and sometimes on off days aswell, if needed i’ll do some dynamic stretching before my workouts. The static stretching just feels really good and releases some tension in tight muscles but isn’t really necessary because I’m not particullary imobile. I use the dynamic stretching very rarely because usually I can get in the desired positions easily. I have no idea how beneficial my methods really are but for a 6’2" 220 lbs guy I have really good mobility.


[quote]Richieavella721 wrote:
Where does mobility, flexibility, foam rolling, fit into a weight lifting routine?[/quote]
They fit where, when, and if they’re needed. With most “prehab” movements/treatments, you only “need” to address things that are causing issues. So you wouldn’t foam roll your body head to toe because there’s generally no need to.

Take a self-inventory, consider what needs priority attention, and then pick a small handful of movements to address those areas. Whether you do them in the morning, after training, on non-lifting days, or whatever is a secondary concern. But generally, the more frequent, the better, so 1 movement 7 days a week beats 5 movements twice a week.

DeFranco has a few similar patterns out, like the Limber 11 and Simple 6. Mike Boyle, Mike Robertson, and Tony Gentilcore have also talked about mobility work:

Probably the least time-consuming “recovery method” will be fillers that you do during your training session, basically superset with your lifting:


[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I never do these things. Are they required?[/quote]
Certainly not “required”, in the same way that no single exercise is “required”.

But they’re tools that may improve performance and work towards preventing injury. I think you have a different outlook on injuries and training than most, so, take it for what it is.

On a related note, there have been a few articles that talked about steering away from specific mobility work and instead using strategic lifting to work towards the same effect:

The nature of strongman event-type training, and the frequent use of odd objects (sandbags, oversized implements, etc.) could certainly fit the bill of “accidental” mobility/prehab work.


[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

On a related note, there have been a few articles that talked about steering away from specific mobility work and instead using strategic lifting to work towards the same effect:


This is similar to my thought process. I always figured, if I wanted to be more mobile, I’d move more.


I like to do some abs and lower back/hip stuff, alternating sets, to warm up. This will get the blood flowing.

Pull down abs with a band, paired with reverse hypers.
Hanging leg raises paired with back raises or hyperextensions.
Side-to-side “landmine abs” and banded clam shells.
Standing leg raise(like a psoas exercise) and kettlebell swings.
Sidebends and leg curls.

Pick a couple exercises, do 3 sets of 10 on each. Build up to 5 sets of 15 for both. When You get bored, or are crushing those lifts, pick new exercises and begin again.


If I had a specific, nagging issue I would use a more “targeted” move. Personally, if my groin and hip flexors were causing me trouble, I would make extra sure my glutes/abductors/external hip rotators ( whatever you call them) were working properly. For me, these issues are caused by bracing or supporting myself with the weaker groin muscles, not the bigger stronger hip/glutes muscles.

Lunges, like Angus mentioned, are good for this. I also like to do stuff from the half kneeling position. Pallof presses, land mine abs, 45 degree 1 arm rows on a cable. Anthing that challenges your hip stability, down in that lunge, half kneeling position.

Ab work, warm up, and mobility, all in 5 minutes.