Last time, I talked about what to do if you’re hyper mobile. Today, the subject returns to mobility. Now, I’m going to talk about what to do if you are hypo mobile. What this means is that you are lacking in mobility. For our purposes, mobility is simply how much you can articulate a given joint in and of itself. For instance, if you are in a quadruped position, and you attempt a bird dog, and you find that your lower back starts moving at the end of the motion, you are lacking the ability to articulate hip extension.

As the saying goes, first thing’s first. And the first thing always goes back to our nervous system. Whether it is for lifting, or for other gross motor movements we perform in daily life, we have our nervous system to thank for knowing how to do them. If we have compensatory patterns inhibiting or altering our movement, we STILL have our nervous system to thank for it even though the end result might be less than optimal.
Before we discuss learning, let’s take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of learning. As you read through this, try to imagine the first time you learned how to do the compound lifts.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Learning

  • Unconscious incompetence-we do something wrong and we don’t know what we’re doing wrong.
  • Conscious incompetence-we are now at a point where we can do “the thing” but we catch ourselves making the errors and then correct them.
  • Conscious competence-we do “the thing” and we do it well, but we have to think about it every step of the way.
  • Unconscious competence-we’re at a point now where we can do “the thing” without thinking about it. My favorite example of this is when you see those hair metal guitarists who can pick up chicks while not even playing their guitar, yet they still go to town.

To that end, if we look at the way we learn, it goes something like this: big to small and slow to fast. If you’ve ever taught someone how to squat, without saying anything they almost always start super slow, provided they are completely new to it. Or, depending on the amount of scaling needed, the process can go from small to big and slow to fast. If you’ve ever been to a physical therapist for any type of rehab, you’ve encountered the latter.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at your body and how it works. We know it’s a closed chain, and we also know that despite the term, nothing happens in isolation. Not even a bicep curl. So to get out of the state of hypo mobility, you have to move certain areas of tissue more than you are at this point in time. So the way I’m going to focus on involves stretching your tissue. Not in the usually static stretching ways, either.

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