Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hacking Mobility Training with TRX

I have a problem. I like to pick up heavy things and put them back down. Because (a) I feel like a badass, (b) it makes me faster, and (c) there is a direct inverse correlation between how much I've been lifting and the likelihood of me getting injured (R= -0.82, p<0.05).

But after having ankle surgery a year ago, I still don't have all my bent-leg dorsiflexion back in my left ankle, despite copious amounts of PT, stretching, ART, and joint distraction. Squats are a problem. Single leg work like pistol squats? I get about a quarter of the way down. Turns out dorsiflexion is important.

Poor flexibility -> Poor mobility -> Poor strength

So in the meantime, I've mostly been deadlifting, deadlifting with the trap bar, hip thrusting, and single leg deadlifting. Did I mention deadlifting? Oh, and whining about my inability to squat a$$ to grass.

Whining rarely pays off, unless, it turns out, you have a side job at a gym with lots of talented trainer friends with magical strength-training hacks in their back pockets. Enter my introduction to the TRX - a beautiful torture-apparatus that has reunited me with the pistol squat. The beauty is that with holding onto the suspension handles, you can subtly alter your position to make it as challenging or easy as needed, thus letting me unload/leverage enough bodyweight such that I can get deep enough to start working my glute med again.

Sad attempt at pistol squat on non-bendy ankle.
Boo ya TRX pistol squat!
I'm not usually one for extra contraptions and the latest/greatest "new thing" when it comes to training (see: deadlifts), but I'm on board with this one. There's real potential here to improve strength while my functional mobility continues to catch up. I also got some super-satisfying TA soreness (see: masochism) from the core circuit I went through while I was at it (mountain climbers with suspension! pendulums!)

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