From time to time, you hear the coaching staff talk about the importance of mobility and flexibility.   Being strong and knowing the moves are only two facets of wrestling.  If you are tight as a drum (read: most of you), you won’t be able to access all that strength you’ve built nor will you be able to execute the moves you know properly. 

Case in point on how flexibility can help your wrestling: Mr. Dylan Beller.  He was a gymnast before he came into wrestling, and if any of you witnessed his match with Daniel Weinberg from Mater Dei, you saw a tour de force of mobility.  I mean, the guy gave Weinberg fits, and much of it was all due to his immense flexibility.  You guys might not be able to get that flexibile, but you can get close with a bit of hard work.  Plenty of wrestlers on the team scoff and make fun of the coaching staff’s stressing of stretching, but all mocking should have stopped after you watched that match!

Another reason why this is oh so important: injury prevention.  Tight muscles=injury immanent.  And almost every single one of us has tight muscles that need a ‘workin on.  How many of us have spent time on the sidelines this year due to silly injuries that could have been prevented by a little maintainence?  Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m sayin!

Which brings me to a link ‘o the day: Kelly Starrett’s Mobility Project.

Kelly is a licensed physical trainer with impeccable credentials, and he works with athletes every day.  He’s the best in the business when it comes to this stuff.  Working on your mobility doesn’t have to be, as they say, rocket science.  The beauty about Starrett’s blog is that he posts an easy to follow video every day, and it only takes about 10 minutes per day.  You should be working on your mobility throughout the day, but putting 10 minutes into your daily routine should not be difficult. 

So, go there and DO IT.  DAILY.  And don’t let the big words intimidate you: just follow the stretch he outlines, and for crying out loud, be your own solution and google the terms you don’t understand!  🙂  Try starting with these: internal rotation, external rotation, abduction, adduction, midline, thoracic spine,  lumbar spine, and kinetic chain.  With those basic kinesiology terms down pat, you are well on your way.  Really: everyone should become familiar with basic kinesiology…all the cool kids are doing it.

Check out the following video of Starrett explaining the reason why you might be stretching, but not seeing results.  Short answer: if you only stretch for 2 minutes a day then do your normal stuff for the other 23:58 (read: sit in chair, hunched over, on couch, in car, etc…in short, in places that get your muscles tight and wound up rather than stretched and relaxed), is it any surprise?  You gotta mold more consistently, but that need not take a 2 hour yoga session a day.  Just 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there will go far.

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