How to Put Together a Mobility Program for Athletes

By djpope

December 2, 2018

athletes, eccentric, eccentrics, flexibility, foam roller, foam rolling, mobility, olympic weightlifting, overhead, program, range of motion, squat, stiffness, stretch, Stretching

If you work with athletes that are trying to improve their exercise technique for olympic weightlifting, squatting or overhead lifting, chances are you’ll have to employ some mobility strategies to help them improve their range of motion and improve their exercise technique.

Now, there is a ridiculous amount of information out there about mobility.  What’s the best mobilization?  Which is the best stretch?  Should I foam roll?  How long?  How many days per week?  Someone told me I need to wear weird ankle dorsiflexion socks to be able to finally squat to depth…

So then How Do We Create and Implement a Mobility Program for Our Athletes?

Luckily for you guys I’ve been prescribing mobility for years with my athletes.  I’ve utilized a lot of trial and error over the course of time to see what works and what doesn’t.  I’ve also had the opportunity to see what some of the top coaches in the world do with their athletes.  On top of that I’ve also done quite a bit of literature reviewing (emphasis on the “ing”… I still do).  Here’s what I tend to use to improve my athlete’s mobility:

  1. Stretching
  2. Foam Rolling
  3. Eccentrics

I’ve written quite a bit in the past about my favorite parameters for foam rolling.  I’ve also written a pretty good review article on one of my favorite research articles showing the effectiveness of stretching.  That combined with some research on eccentrics for mobility and I’ve come up with my own strategy for improving mobility.  Check out how I implement mobility programs in the video below:

So there you have it.  Make sure you first evaluate your athletes and see if and where they actually need mobility.  Then go on and start with this simple formula for mobility.  Make sure you test beforehand and then again later.  If you aren’t getting the change you want over the next 4 weeks then it’s time to make a change.  Different exercises, increased frequency, etc…  Keep working until you find the formula that works best for the athlete in front of you!

If you enjoyed this short clip then I wanted to let you know it’s part of a much longer webinar series included with subscription into my Fitness Pain Free Insiders Online Mentoring Program:

“Essential Coaches Series – What Every Coach Needs to Know About Pain and Injury”

I created this series because coaches and personal trainers everywhere are working with athletes in pain every day of the week.  This series will tell you exactly what to do (and what not to do) with these athletes so they can continue working towards their goals and prevent injuries in the long haul.

  • 7 Reasons Why Athletes Get Hurt in the Gym and What to do About It
  • Evidence Based Guide to Mobility Prescription
  • What is Pain and What You Need to Know When Dealing with Athletes in Pain
  • How to Modify Exercises for Athletes with Knee, Lower Back, Shoulder and Hip Pain
  • Plus 30+ hours of webinars about all things fitness and rehabilitation

Click HERE to Learn More About Fitness Pain Free Online Mentoring Program

Immobility’s worst enemy,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1