Every movement you do in a workout requires good mobility for proper execution. Proper execution means you go to full range of motion on everything- no half reps.
There are two common things I’ve observed over the years in those who hit a wall with their progress.
Getting beyond these two things are key if you want to change (this also helps make our job as coaches a lot easier):
1. Ego gets in the way
Leave your Ego at the door. Do not bring it in to the gym. Ever.
If you want to improve something you’re not currently good at, you have to open your mind and embrace being a beginner. Sometimes you have to go back to basics even after months or years of thinking you’re an expert. I’ve had to do this many times with my own training.
You must be able to walk in to the gym and accept that at some point during your workout you’re going to suck at something.
Your Ego will get you injured, and it will coddle you so you avoid “failure” at all costs. Ego keeps us in the confines of our comfort zone.
I see this all the time when people don’t get low in a pushup or won’t come to full extension in the negative of a pull-up. Two exercises that are safe to bail out of if needed.
You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard for fear of what everyone else will think of you. Or for fear of what YOU will think of yourself.
You don’t want to look incapable or weak.
You’re afraid to struggle.
We ALL want to be good at something when we first try it, but that’s not reality. Those with the biggest Egos make the least amount of progress.
Accept that you will “fail” many times before you can master something. Those failures are valuable lessons, so pay attention.
Laziness is right up there with lack of consistency in terms of the things that will stall and sabotage progress. Don’t be lazy.
Mobility work is a perfect example.
It’s not as sexy as squatting 200 LB. It’s boring. It hurts. You don’t have time for it. On and on.
Your good mobility is often the reason WHY you can successfully execute a movement. If you can perform a movement with no pain, and bring it to a full range of motion with complete control, it’s apparent that you’ve built end range strength.
When you perform a barbell squat, do a pushup, bench press, or get on the pull-up bar, your weaknesses will be exposed.
The majority of the time the weakness shows up as a lack of end range strength because you’ve not trained to full range of motion and you’ve neglected your mobility work for months or years on end.
Your hips and low back are so tight that you can’t drop below parallel in a squat.
Your thoracic spine and shoulders are so tight that you can’t get low in your pushups or perform a pull-up.
Your ankles and calves are so tight that you can’t jump without knee pain or perform a deep lunge or squat.
Invest a few minutes every day foam rolling, using a lacrosse ball for trigger point and stretching your whole body so you can get the full benefit of everything you do in the gym. Improving joint range of motion and building strength in end ranges takes time. You can’t cut corners. Leave you Ego at the door and do the hard stuff so you can get back to making progress.