Active vs Passive Mobility
With the incorporation of ROM WOD, the idea of being passive in a stretch is being relayed regularly. This week, I would like to address when to be active vs passive when targeting mobility.
After the workout is done, while the muscles are warmed and accepting of a stretch, static stretching is best to employ. Prolonged periods of time in certain poses force the muscles to stretch and strengthen to adapt to the stressors being put upon them, many times simply gravity and body weight. ROM WOD, yoga, and cool-down stretches are all examples of times when a passive stretch is best.
During the warm-up phase of our workouts, rarely are we looking to be passive. The workouts require us to be continually active, especially when under a barbell; being active in our warm-ups is necessary.
Too often an athlete will find herself falling into a state of passiveness during active components of a warm-up. This is most obvious on movements like the Dead Bug and 4-point Squat.
Let’s examine the 4-point squat. The phase of raising the arms from the squat and maintaining an active press out overhead is paramount to addressing weaknesses and imbalances in moves like the snatch and overhead squat. Too often I see athletes hanging their heads with a passive neck or not reaching for top position with their arms.
I understand that lack of shoulder mobility makes positions 3 and 4 quite uncomfortable if not impossible for some of you, and that’s ok! The issue comes when we are no longer attempting to reach top position. It’s an attitude of “I’m not already good enough so I won’t work this position.”
How can an athlete expect herself to be able to maintain active position when receiving and squatting the bar in a snatch if she can not achieve, or attempt to achieve, top position in an unloaded position.
Not being able to reach a certain position is understandable. Not striving for and actively reaching for that position is inexcusable.
In a 4-point squat, if you can reach your fingers to the ceiling, you should be able to notice your arms shaking under the effort of trying to reach.
May the Ravens of Odin guide you