ViPR Greasing the Groove

Greasing the Groove

I’m going to share with you one of the most simple secrets that I have learnt in order to encourage more mobility at any joint, with any movement, or with any specific exercise. Here is your new go-to principle for greasing the groove.

By greasing the groove, we simply mean ‘creating more space at a joint, in order to gain more freedom of motion’. This in turn will lead to an increase in movement associated with the joint and encourage better performance from ourselves or our clients.

But before we go ahead and turn ourselves or our clients in to elastic bands we must consider two questions:

1.      Do we need mobility or stability to enhance the performance of what we are about to undertake?

2.       At which joints do we, require more mobility?

Let’s talk rhetorically and get us thinking about mobility vs stability.

There is always a balancing act to be played. It is not as simple as always needing more mobility at every joint. Here are a few further questions which we should consider before applying mobility principles.

•   Does our workout need us to be supple or stable?

•   Are we about to move about with moderate weights or lift heavy weights?

•   Are we about to go for a long steady run or hit some sprints?

•   Are we at the beginning or the end of the day, or somewhere in between?

•   Have we been sat at our desk or active with daily chores?

Each of these questions (and many more like them) are followed by a decision. MOBILITY or STABILITY, or a combination of “stabilise this” and “mobilise that”.

The two short mantras that I keep at the forefront of my mind when programming mobility for my clients are “it depends”and “be specific”.

Once we have the answers to our questions we can now address how we go about greasing the groove.

1.      Select the joint or movement that needs mobility

2.      Assess and select the direction that the joint or movement needs mobility

3.      Take the joint towards (but not completely to) end range

4.      Once near end range, add movement through a secondary direction for a minimum of 8 repetitions / 30 seconds

5.      Repeat for all mobility needs across the body

And here is something else to consider whilst your trying our new groove-greasers.

Which driver feels best?

A driver is simply a landmark joint that we can use to generate an action and chain reaction in the body.

So, if we decide to mobilise the anterior hip, is it better to drive the secondary direction from my foot on the same side, foot on the other side, or are we better off using our hands or eyes to give us the most efficient mobility gain?

With this information, it is now your turn to come up with and create strategies that are specific and beneficial to the individual, greasing the groove and gain greater mobility anywhere in the body.