Get Your Free Week Trial Today! | 317-407-4512
BLOG

Increase your Mobility to Perform better in CrossFit

Mobility is definitely a hot word in the fitness industry right now, and for good reason. It helps in all areas from recovery to performance. Having better mobility means you can more easily get into positions on Olympic lifts and traditional strength moves such as the back squat and front squat. Additionally, improved shoulder mobility will not only improve your kipping motion and therefore your pull ups and muscle ups, but also you won’t be suffering from the shoulder injuries that plague some CrossFit competitors. However, this post is specifically concerned with ankle mobility and the quick fix often associated with a lack of ankle mobility – lifting shoes.

Walk into nearly any established CrossFit box and you’re bound to see multiple people in Olympic weightlifting shoes. Some people even like to wear them during MetCons, although they are actually designed to be strictly worn for strength movements such as the snatch, clean and jerk, and back squat. The reason you’ll see so many people in them, however, is because these shoes are a quick fix for ankle mobility issues.

When someone first walks into a CrossFit box, the chances are they cannot perform even a basic air squat with correct form. Since so many of us spend so much time sitting behind a desk, the reason for the inability to squat is due to locked hips and immobile ankles. Simply working out, along with stretching post-WOD generally opens the hips up well enough to squat correctly, but the ankles are a different story. They are more difficult to work on, and often times people look for a quick fix. The raised heel of the Olympic lifting shoe (check out the best ones here) allows your ankle to have to flex less when completing a lift. Basically, you get a slight “cheat” in the move.

Now, you may be thinking that the heel of that shoe looks about as raised as a running shoe, so what gives? Why do people use them? Running shoes are a terrible choice for weight bearing movements because they are extremely cushioned, meaning they actually absorb your power. Not what you want when lifting weights. However, flat shoes such as CrossFit Nanos (here) or NoBull Trainers (here) are firm and therefor provide power transfer, but don’t give your ankles that same advantage. This is a good thing! You should be able to get into all the required lifting positions without the help of a shoe. If you cannot yet do that, don’t put on lifters. Just as you shouldn’t wear a weightlifting belt until you know how to brace your core, don’t use an Oly lifter as a crutch when you cannot squat correctly.

Other Posts You Might Like

How to Enjoy the Holiday Season

Next week is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the country: Thanksgiving. I’m sure you didn’t already know that. But the question for those of us who are fitness-focused and health conscious can quickly become how to enjoy the holiday season. For 11 months of the year, we work on eating healthy foods, … more »

Diana Kelly Testimonial

Diana Kelly started working with us this August through our Online Training Program, and she has had success all due to her hard work. Below, she shares her experience working with us, and how it’s helped her so far. “In July of 2018 I had probably hit the most unhealthy period of my entire adult … more »

How much can you improve your life?

Paint this picture in your head. Susie starts coming to the gym consistently, three times per week. She cleans up her nutrition and sees great results. Then, after losing 15 pounds, it all starts going backward. She starts gaining the weight back as the focus on nutrition goes away. Susie then gets frustrated and stops … more »

Self-Improvement, or self-lying?

The self-improvement / personal development industry is now worth over $9 billion. Thats billion. With a B. From Tony Robbins to Tim Ferriss, all sorts of people are working in, and profiting off of, everyone’s desire to become a “better version of themselves.” Even Apple’s latest commercial ends with, “There’s a better you in you.” … more »

Eating for health and performance

At the CrossFit Level 1 (L1) Seminar Course, all participants are taken through a wide range of topics relating to wellness. While this course is a coaching certification, and therefore focused on teaching someone how to coach CrossFit movements safely, there is also a large portion of the class focusing on nutrition. Nutrition is a … more »

Macro Friendly Chili

Fall is hitting here in Indiana, and in my kitchen, that means one thing: chili season. Chili is among my favorite foods, but all too often it is extremely high in fat, then served with cheese, sour cream, and chips on the side. It doesn’t have to be this way. This macro friendly chili will … more »

Ready to transform your life?