Training Tips Tuesday #46: What Am I Doing For My Mobility Work?

Mobility work is so important to help you move through a full range of motion, both in your workouts and in everyday life. This helps prevent injuries by making sure you aren’t compensating for a tight joint by relying on other areas to take over. So let’s take a look at how I incorporate mobility work on a daily basis in ways that are easy and take less than 10 minutes.

Dynamic Warm Up


Not only do I do dynamic warm ups before my runs but the NTC app also includes a short warm up section before getting into the main workout. For both, I go through a full range of motion that helps my body get warmed up and prepped for harder work plus it helps me realize any areas that are tighter than normal (usually from sitting at a desk all day long).

Check out my pre-run dynamic warm up routine!

Yoga and Stretches


Lately, I’ve been drawn more to mobility focused yoga routines that flow from movement to movement instead of a static holding of positions. This means my body is going through a fuller range of motion, although it’s still mainly working on flexibility,

I’ve also been focused on using yoga poses in my post-run stretches to help with flexibility in specific spots: glutes, hips and IT band. These don’t fix mobility issues on their own but help improve the range of motion when used along with other forms of mobility work.

Check out how my love of yoga changed after I was done with marathon training.

Trigger Point Release and Foam Rolling


These are my favorite forms of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR). I try to foam roll after every workout (although I’m less likely to that after my weight training sessions) and I do use a tennis ball to do trigger point release on my upper back a couple of times a week.

Check out what trigger point release is and what my foam rolling routine is!

How do you incorporate mobility work into your fitness routine?

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Training Tips Tuesday #44: Using Trigger Point Balls

Lately, I’ve been carrying around a tennis ball in my gym bag. But it’s not because I’ve taken up a new sport (I know from gym classes that tennis is not for me!). I’ve been using it a trigger point ball to take care of some especially tight spots. There are trigger point balls sold specifically for this reason but I’ve found a tennis ball works just as well (and it’s free, Vinnie just has one less bell to play fetch with).

How does using a trigger point ball work?

1. Find a trigger point (a specific tender point in the muscle) by positioning the tight muscle over the ball either by lying on the ground, sitting or leaning against a wall. When you find the point, you may feel instant discomfort and/or radiating pain, which might be frightening but lets you know you’ve found the spot.

2. Hold for 1-2 minutes. You may feel a muscle twitch response, wait for the tissue to release (you can feel it soften under your skin or you’ll begin to feel a decrease in the pain referral pattern).

3. Once the muscle releases, either go deeper into the tissue or move the trigger ball to the adjacent points until muscle pain and tightness has reduced.

Using a trigger point ball really helps me get out especially tight spots in my shoulders and glutes, especially while I’m work. But I’m trying to incorporate it into my daily mobility work, especially as increasing my cross training days means I’m working my upper body muscles more.

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Training Tips Tuesday #39: How I Treat My Tight Calves

On and off, whether I’ve been training for a race or not, I get really tight calves for a couple of days. Most of the time, they happen if I don’t get a good stretch/foam rolling in after my cross training (which I’m working on) but today I wanted to share how a treat them.

  • Roller stick: any type of foam rolling gets to be pretty painful when my calves are really tight but I’ve found the roller stick is the best way to get in there and help the fascia and muscles loosen up. I always make sure to do it right after working out so my muscles are warmed up which helps a little.

  • Compression socks: I swear by compression socks for helping out with my tight calf muscles. I never wear them after a run but I make sure to slip them on after my long run and also when my calves are feeling tight. It might just be a placebo effect but I really feel a difference.

  • Keep on running: I keep on running, even if my calves are tight. Depending on how they feel, I might move my speedwork day and do an easy run instead but running (or any other type of cardio) helps loosen them up. If I do end up doing an easy run because of tight calves, I spend some time after my warm-up and running the first mile to stretch out my calves a little bit more.

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October Goals

As my pace is picking up and I’m paying more attention to my training, I wanted to start setting some goals for each month. I’m feeling like it will help me stay on track with my running and have something to push towards throughout the month. Plus, once we get into the winter months when it’s cold and dark, setting some goals will help me get out there when it’s less than ideal conditions.

For October, I’m going to keep it nice and easy with my goals. I do want to keep up up with running at a faster easy pace but I want to make sure I don’t injure myself. So that’s what my goals are a combination of pace and cross-training (plus some self-care).

  • Run my easy runs at a 10-10:30 pace (long runs being closer to the 10:30 pace)

  • Get in two core training sessions a week

  • Foam roll after every workout (including cross-training days)

  • Sleep in on the weekends (now that I don’t have to worry about it getting super hot for my runs)

  • Continue my nightly meditation practice

What are you goals for October? Share them in the comments!

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