acumobility ball lat mobility for releasing the shoulder with Chris Duffin from Kabuki Strength using the boomstick

Improve Overhead Position and Shoulder Mechanics with Chris Duffin + Semaj Hunter

In this video Chris Duffin and Brad Cox from Acumobility are at Titan Barbell in Medford, MA working on Strongman Semaj.  Semaj had sustained a right shoulder injury that has been negatively impacting his overhead mobility. During assessments, we found that he has poor internal rotation of the shoulder with limited overhead range of motion and restricted trap and pec muscles. Our goal is to provide some corrective strategies to improve end range of motion and stability in the shoulder girdle. We accomplish this through the following progression: Active Mobilization of the Shoulder Using our unique Vice Technique we start by placing an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point in the external rotators (i.e. back of shoulder) while at the same time applying compression from the opposite side in the subscap and lat muscles with the BoomStick. Complete 5 to 8 reps of internal and external rotation. Applying the same Vice Technique we work both rhomboid and pec muscles. Place an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point at the top of the rhomboids, apply pressure using the BoomStick to a restricted area in the pec, and go through a press up motion at 45 degree angle from the body. Find two restricted areas in the pec and complete 5-8 press ups in each area. An alternative method to release the pec muscle while preventing trap over recruitment is to use a banded distraction technique. Get into a tall kneeling position, place a band over the top of the shoulder and anchor it under the rack. Place an Acumobility ball in a trigger point in the pec muscle, press into the ball while going through internal and external rotation of the shoulder. Stability Re-Patterning: To cement in the mobility work that we just did Chris then cues Semaj through a series of DNS shoulder stability drills. This works to increase stability and connection through Semaj’s shoulder girdle.  One of the main goals was to activate his larger back muscles to create better stability and prevent him from over recruiting his Traps and Pecs.  One of the key takeaways from this video is the need to properly identify both the restrictive and stability problems that are affecting a specific pattern.  By addressing his mobility restrictions through an active mobilization approach incorporating the ‘VISE Technique’ we were able to work through the restricted tissue while at the same time beginning to address the underlying connection issue that were also present. We heard from Semaj later that he was able to get through all of the overhead exercises in his competition with no pain and much better strength on that side.  This is a great example of sometimes how a nagging issue can be quickly improved through the correct approach.  Stay tuned for some more collaborative videos between Chris and I, and for more information on the VISE Technique sign up for -Brad Cox (CEO/ Co-Founder ACUMOBILITY) To get access to awesome content delivered monthly sign up for our NEWSLETTER NOTE: Always consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise program. This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have an active low back injury or feel pain while doing these exercises, immediately stop and consult a qualified medical professional.
using the acumobility ball for trigger point release to fix squat and deadlift mechanics

Fix Low Back Stiffness + Rounding in the Deep Squat with Justin Wright

One sided low back pain and tightness during squat is a common problem with strength athletes. In this video we will teach you how to assess and correct one of the main causes for this in the deep squat. Let’s be clear, there are numerous factors affecting one sided low back issues and the answer always includes a combination of both MOBILITY and STABILITY. You can’t separate the two, and we are going to show you some unique active mobilization strategies to correct not just the mobility problem but to also encourage proper stability and sequencing. Brad Cox from Acumobility works on Justin Wright who is the head strength coach at CrossFit Reebok Back Bay and also a Crossfit games athlete and Grid team member of the Boston Iron. Presentation: Justin had been struggling with a left side low back/ left hip issue that showed up specifically in his deep squat. Because of preparations for the Cross Fit Games his programing included lots of squat volume and he was finding it difficult to create full power in his squat and keep up with the stiffness that kept presenting in his low back/hip. Here is the full video showing both assessments and corrections: justin deep squat video from Brad Cox on Vimeo.   Observation: When he got down to about 90 degrees in his squat you can visibly watch him hike into his low back and lose the ability to control pelvic tilt. At the same time he reports that he can feel restriction and pain in the front of the hip. Pattern: The pattern that we identify here is a left sided restriction in internal rotation of the hip and a failure of deep core and psoas muscles to stabilize the pelvis at the bottom of a squat causing compensation into the low back. Assessments: We walk Justin through 2 very simple self-assessments to give us a starting place. A little self-assessment to determine restricted ranges of motion can go a long way in telling you where to apply appropriate active mobilization, with the goal of improving the specific movements you are working on that day. Try to pare down the amount of time you are spending on mobility and prep to less than 10 minutes, but really make those 10 minutes count!!! Assessment Descriptions:  1: Standing Deep hip flexor Assessment: Stand on one leg and raise your other leg into deep hip flexion allowing your arms to assist. Make sure to keep an upright posture and not round the low back. Let go of the knee and see if you can maintain that position without any knee drop for about 15 seconds. Failures:     -The common failure patterns that you will see here will be the inability to maintain an upright posture when the knee is raised (note the rounded low back and bent right knee) -Knee drop when the leg is released.(This are an indication of a failure of deep core muscles including the deep hip flexors and abs. Coupled with this is generally restricted muscle tissue on the same side in the QL/ Erectors and Upper Hips.) 2: Internal Hip Rotation Assessment: Lay down on your back and bring one leg up creating a 90 degree angle with both the knee and hip. In this position actively try to rotate the lower leg outwards. You should be able to clear roughly 30 degrees. (If you feel any pinching or sharp pain in the hip capsule then you would want to get assessed by a clinician for a capsule issue or impingement.) -Restricted Internal Hip Rotation on Left                              -Right Leg has perfect internal Hip Rotation   Explanation: When internal hip rotation is restricted in the deep squat you end up having to compensate for this lack of mobility. This causes the low back to take the pressure and try to stabilize due to the lack of proper positioning of the hip  Note:There are wide variations in Femur length and hip socket structure that can also affect this, and so what you are really looking for with this assessment is asymmetries. If one side you have great internal rotation and the other you don’t, then it is safe to assume that the lack of rotation on the one side is going to cause dysfunction. This is also very often due to the inherent lack of core stability on that side as well. Here in the clinic we would of course analyze all of his movement patterns both globally and locally, but in the gym a quick assessment can go a long way in telling you what is wrong. (Keep in mind that this is not the only pattern that causes low back pain in the Deep Squat, and there are numerous other causative factors involving everything from GI inflammation to shoulder issues that can contribute to low back pain and which we will write about in future articles.) Justin showed a failure for both of these assessments on his left side. To fix this we do a combination of our unique active mobilization and re-patterning exercises to improve tissue quality and work on creating better sequencing and stability through the system Corrections: Correction 1:Improve internal hip rotation on the left side using our ‘Vise Technique’ that we developed in collaboration with Chris Duffin. Step 1: Lay face down and bring the opposite leg up to a 90 degree angle. Step 2: Place an Acumobility ball under the anterior part of the hip in either the TFL muscle or attachment area of the upper quads, looking for a tender restricted spot. Step 3: Have someone who is trained in manual therapy apply pressure with the Boomstickinto trigger points in the Piriformis and Glute Medius/ Minimus muscles. Step 4: Go through internal/ external rotations of the lower leg for 5-6 reps on each trigger point. Self Active Mobilization- If you are by your self then while going through internal and external rotation try to raise your knee off the ground to encourage Glute activation. Once you have worked the front of the hip then flip over and use the Acumobility Ball to target trigger points in the Piriformis/ Glute med/min muscles with an Acumobility Ball while going through a knee drive motion. Correction 2: To improve activation of the deep hip flexors and re-pattern the relationship between erectors/QL and Psoas. The point of this exercise is to improve tissue quality while at the same time encouraging proper activation in a deep knee drive pattern. Step 1: Place an Acumobility Ball on a bench and lay down with the ball in the upper part of QL just off of the spine. You will also find two more spots higher up along the erectors and into the lower ribs. Step 2: Place a Second Acumobility Ball along the inside of the inguinal crease directly on the Psoas (It is very important to find the correct spot here and not apply deep pressure onto an organ, when you are on the right spot it will feel like a tight band of muscle. (Only apply moderate pressure here as it doesn’t take much to release this trigger point) Step 3: Take a light kettlebell (less than 12kgs) and place it on top of the flat base of the Acumobility Ball. This helps you apply pressure into the Psoas, and by using the handle of the Kettlebell you are able to control the angle of the ball better. Step 4: Apply pressure with the Kettlebell onto the top ball. At the same time bring the same side knee up into deep hip   flexion. Breathe as you do this trying to let the ball sink in. Step 5: Bring the knee back down until your foot hits the ground. Drive your heel into the ground while squeezing the glute and tucking the pelvis underneath. You are actively trying to drive pressure into the ball that is placed in the low back. This actively works the relationship between glute/ psoas and low back muscles to improve positioning and activation. Repeat this whole sequence 3x and then move the ball in the back further up, repeating the process again on 2 more spots in the back. You can also use a Boomstick in place of the Acumobility Ball/Kettlebell combo. The circumference of the Boomstick is the exact same as the Acumobility ball and the control you can have with it while doing this release is perfect For Justin we then rechecked both his internal hip rotation and ability to stabilize during the Standing Deep Hip flexor Test. Both of these immediately improved and he was able to get deeper into his squat without compensating into his low back. This is an example of how a few targeted correctives can have a profound impact on a specific lifting pattern. Sign up for our Newsletter to get more content like this and learn how to take control of your body and training. -Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder of Acumobility) NOTE: Always consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise program. This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have an active low back injury or feel pain while doing these exercises, immediately stop and consult a qualified medical professional.
using the acumobility ball and acumobility eclipse foam roller to fix ankle pain and ankle mobility and trigger points

Improve Ankle Mobility + Stability with Ninja Warrior Meghan Beatty

How to Improve Ankle Mobility/ Stability with Active Mobilization and Fascial Tensioning.  As demonstrated on American Ninja Warrior Meghan Beatty. Meghan Beaty Ankle Blog from Brad Cox on Vimeo.   The Pattern: The ability to properly active the big toe and arch of the foot, while at the same time having full internal rotation and flexion of the lower leg are essential components of proper running, jumping, squat, hinge and lunge mechanics. If you have poor lower leg rotation and lack of big toe activation then it shows up a few different ways depending on the movement pattern we are talking about. -During Squatting/ Jumping/ Hinge and LungeThere are 4 main ways that this problem will present. 1) As you go deeper into your squat/lunge you roll onto the outer part of the foot and loose big toe connection 2) At around 90 degrees of depth one or both feet will have to turn out and the arch will collapse. 3) Can’t squat to depth without having the heels come up. 4) At depth you will have to shift and rotate weight onto the other hip causing a visible hip shift. During Running and Walking: 1) Can’t toe off with the big toe and rolls to the outer part of the foot 2) The foot kicks out to the side as it leaves the ground.  Every single one of these presentations affects stability throughout the entire chain and when loaded can cause havoc on the ankle, knee and hip joints. Common Causes:For ankle and big toe dysfunction the common causes are a history of sprained ankles, a lower leg that is stuck in external rotation, and restrictive footwear/ arch support that compresses the toes together and prevent normal range of motion. Whenever we are assessing an athlete the first two places we start are the core and then the feet because any problem with the feet will immediately affect rooting and stability all the way up the chain. Assessments: We walk Meghan through two very simple self-assessments to give us a starting place. We are big fans of quick assessments because very often you can determine the source of a problem and clean it up quickly to maximize your performance. Clearly there are numerous other factors that could be affecting her ankle mechanics, and in the clinic we would put her through a full evaluation to analyze all of her mobility/ stability/ and pattern problems. But a quick self-assessment can go a long way towards getting you on the right track, if you know what to look for. Assessment 1: Lower Leg rotation and Big Toe activation test: Step 1: Sit at the edge of a chair and square your hips straight. Bring your knee slightly forward over the toes. Rotate your foot roughly 45 degrees in and try to press your big toe into the ground to activate the arch. Step 2: While maintaining that big toe activation try to rotate your knee out so that it is in line with your hips. Picture to the left shows good internal rotation of the lower leg and she is raising her small toes to emphasize the big toe activation on the ground. Failures: There are 3 common failures that you see in this assessment: 1: Cannot press the big toe into the ground and activate the arch 2: Cannot maintain big toe activation as you rotate the knee back to neutral 3: Maintain big toe activation but can visibly see the pressure roll to the outer part of the ankle as you rotate the knee out with an exaggerated arch. 4: The heel comes off the ground as you rotate the knee.  All of these failures indicate a problem with the arch mechanics of the foot and a loss of internal rotation of the lower leg. Assessment 2: Hip external rotation test: This test we do primarily to see if there are any obvious restrictions in the External hip rotators, because very often when you see an impairment in internal rotation of the lower leg you will also see a restriction in TFL/ Glute Med and Glute min on the same side. Step 1: Lay down on your back and raise one leg up creating a 90 degree angle from the hip to knee and 90 degree at the knee. Step 2: Actively rotate your lower leg inward ( you should be able to actively clear your foot past the leg that is still on the ground. Step 3: With one hand pull your ankle towards your torso as the other hand presses against the knee to maintain 90 degree angle. (you should be able to roughly get to 90 Degrees of rotation)  Note:There are wide variations in Femur length and hip socket structure that can also affect this, and so what you are really looking for with this assessment is asymmetries. If one side you have great external rotation and the other you don’t, then it is safe to assume that the lack of rotation on the one side is going to cause dysfunction. This is also very often due to the inherent lack of core stability on that side as well. One of the ways you can tell if it is structural vs. muscular is if it responds to active mobilization. When trigger point release with active mobilization is done to an area of the body it should show progressive improvement in ROM. If you keep having to work the same area without improvement then assume there is something else that is the causative factor. Corrections: Here we show an in-depth corrective strategy to improve lower leg rotation, big toe activation and Glute engagement to improve both mobility and stability. In the beginning you will want to go through every one of the below steps, but once you have regained initial mobility then you can cut down on reps and focus mostly on using the Eclipse Rollerto maintain tissue mobility and then the Active Figue 4 stretch and Fascial tension getup and lunge drills at the end to prep for activity. After the initial week or two of work you should be able to maintain your progress with roughly 5-10 min of work only 2-3 times a week before training. - There are 3 main steps to help address the lack of rotation of the lower leg and improve big toe activation and hip mobility. Address trigger points in the Calf/ Tib Anterior and the foot using our Active Mobilization approach Release TFL/ Glute Medius Active Stretching and Fascial Tensioning floor to standing sequence to integrate and re-pattern the newfound mobility. Correction 1: Soleus/ Tib Posterior Trigger Point release: This helps to improve mobility and also enhance activation through the arch and big toe. Step 1: Sit on a bench and cross one leg over the other. Step 2: Roll off the edge of the bone on the inside of the calf and find a tender area along the Soleus muscle (begin at the top of the calf). Use the base edge of the Acumobility ball(for this we often recommend the Level 2 ball because it is firmer) and press into the side of the calf applying pressure in and at a slight upward angle underneath the bone. Step 3: Work back and forth with the edge of the ball as you bring your foot through flexion and extension. Step 4: Spend roughly 10 seconds per spot working the ankle through range of motion 4 reps each spot and then move down towards the ankle hunting around for different restricted spots. Repeat on 4 different Trigger points.  Correction 2: Tib Anterior Trigger Point Release: This helps to improve flexion/ extension/ and rotation of the lower leg and also improves propulsion and drive. This is an often neglected muscle, that plays a critical roll in both stability and power of all leg dominant movements. Step 1: Place the Acumobility Ballon a yoga block or bench. Step 2: Find a Trigger Point at the top of the muscle just off of the bone and drive pressure into the ball Step 3: Create stability with the upper body by gripping the floor or bench and firing your lats. At the same time pack the breath and create tension in the core Step 4: Put the foot through flexion and extension as you drive pressure into the trigger point. Repeat 5-7 reps.  Find 3-4 Trigger Points as you work towards the ankle.  Correction 3: Trigger point release of the back and side of the calf: This helps to improve rotation of the lower leg and is generally very restricted on people who have poor Tibial Rotation and ankle flexion. We are specifically targeting the Peroneus Longus, Flexor Hullucis longus and Peroneus Brevis. Step 1: Find a Trigger point along the outer part of your calf near the ankle and using the Eclipse Roller place this area on the middle direct pressure strip. Step 2: Lift your body off the ground into a side plank position with your other leg driving pressure down on top of the bottom leg. Step 3: Roll back and forth in small 1-2 inch rolls targeting the different Trigger points in the side and back of the calf. (The Eclipse Roller is perfect for this, because with just small changes in angle you can lean into the different pressure strips and really target very specific areas) Step 4: When you are on a specific trigger point bring the           ankle through flexion and extension to work through active ranges of motion. Note: You can also do an advanced version of this technique with the Acumobility ball. For a vid of this go here:  Correction 4: Fascial Twist Release to the Calf. This helps to improve rotation through the lower leg and improve the neuromuscular signaling through the fascia. Step 1: Come into a lunge with the restricted foot forward Step 2: Active press the big toe into the ground and work to fire your arch Step 3. Using your hands, wrap around the calf and front of the lower leg and then create a wringing motion in which you grip and rotate the muscles of the lower leg both ways, to improve glide and roation. Correction 5: Trigger point release for the Glutes. This helps to improve the mobility in the hips. You want to target the Glute Medius/ Glute Minimus and TFL muscles. Step 1: Lay on your side with your elbow on the ground and one foot firmly planted on the ground. Step 2: Place the Acumobility Ball under your bottom hip on a restricted Trigger Point in the upper glutes. Step 3: Brace through your core and engage the big toe and glute of the planted leg as you drive pressure into the ball. Step 4: Lift your bottom leg up in a clamshell motion putting the external hip rotators through their active range of motion while releasing the specific trigger point. Repeat 5 reps and find 2-3 restricted spots. Correction 6: Active Figure 4 Stretch: This helps to both improve hip mobility and activation of the external hip rotators. Step 1: Lay on your back and bring one leg into the figure four position Step 2: Reach through with your hands and pull your knee closer to your chest Step 3: Actively Contract your stretched glute muscle and hold for 6 seconds, then release and sink deeper into the stretch. (Repeat this 3-4 cycles) Correction 7: Shin Box Getup with Fascial Tensioning: This drill both improves mobility and also works to improve sequencing and stability through the chain. Step1: Sit upright with one hip in internal rotation and one hip in external rotation. ( If you can’t get into this position then lean onto your hand and massage the internally rotated hip with the Ball as you slowly try to work yourself upright) Step 2: Take 2 Acumobility Balls and crush them in your hands while activating your diaphragm, abs and lats to create tension through the torso. Step 3: Drive your hips up and forward locking out at full neutral (make sure the glute is fired and that you stay upright) Step 4: Swing the internally rotated leg in front of the body into a lunge. Step 5: Actively contract the glutes and stand up Correction 8: Side step Lunge with Fascial Tensioning: This drill helps to tie together Big toe/ Arch activation plus dynamic rotation of the lower leg. Once you have successful worked through the mobility problems in the lower leg, this is a great drill to keep in your routine as prep work for any single leg lifts or running workouts. Step 1: Place one foot firmly rooted to the ground. Actively press the big toe into the ground and fire the arch. Step 2: With the back leg step out at a 30 degree angle into a lunge. Step 3: Stand back up, firing your glute as you go. Step 4: Step out 3 more times, every time moving your foot further and further towards a 90 degree angle to the planted foot. This progressively challenges rotation of the lower leg while also encouraging proper activation of the foot.  You can see here how with just one time going through this protocol Meghan was able to immediately improve both her big toe activation and ankle mobility.  With a few more times she should be able to get continually improvement and then transition to maintenance work. Following the above protocol will give you a good starting strategy for improving your ankle mobility and stability. If you want to learn more sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebookand Instagram @acumobility.  -Brad Cox (Co-CEO/ Founder Acumobility)
using the acumobility ball to improve shoulder trigger points to fix shoulder pain and shoulder mobility

Fix your Turkish Getup and Overhead Positioning with Mike Perry

How to fix your Turkish Getup and overhead position with Active Mobilization and Fascial tensioning The Turkish Getup is an incredible exercise, but for many people they struggle with proper shoulder mobility and stability during the Getup that prevents them from properly executing the movement and may also put them in a vulnerable position that can lead to injury. In this video series Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder of Acumobility) and Mike Perry (Owner of Skill of Strength and Senior Strongfirst Kettlebell Instructor and FMS instructor) teach a series of unique Active Mobilization and Fascial Tensioning drills to re-pattern underlying mobility and stability problems that are getting in the way of the Turkish Getup and overhead position. In this first video we demonstrate a prep drill we call ‘The Hug of Death into the Archer.” This is an incredible sequence that helps to improve thoracic and shoulder mobility while at the same time encouraging proper shoulder packing and stability. In this sequence we use the Acumobility ball for both trigger point release and fascial tensioning. This will be a ‘Go To’ prep drill prior to TGU and overhead activities and has incredible carryover neurologically for prepping the body for load. Turkish Getup Active Mobility prep drill from Brad Cox on Vimeo. This sequence alone is a great prep drill for the Turkish getup and single arm overhead lifts, but it you want to really work to improve your overhead reflexive motor control and stability then this next series is a must. In this second video Mike Perry demonstrates a unique Kettlebell Arm bar sequence he developed that uses load to improve shoulder packing and motor control. This is an awesome example of what we are referring to when we say that ‘load is the fix’ and is a great way to Unify the mobility changes that we made in the Hug of Death- Archer sequence. Kettlebell Arm Bar progression from Brad Cox on Vimeo. Our philosophy for properly re-patterning mobility follows our Assess/ Correct /Unify Approach, hence the ACU in Acumobility. Step 1 Assess: Identify the underlying mobility and stability problems that might be interfering with a specific movement pattern. From there we develop a strategy specifically designed to improve and prepare the body for that particular movement. Step 2: Correct: Address underlying mobility and tissue restrictions using our unique approach that we call Active mobilization. This approach combines both mobility and stability in the same corrective to improve tissue quality, range of motion and prepare the body for load. After these drills you should see some improvement in positioning and reflexive stability. Step 3: Unify This is a biggie and where all of the changes that we achieved in Step 2 really get cemented into the body. This step is also the most critical step in getting long term carryover from your mobility work. The entire idea is that once you have improved position and motor control, then the load bearing exercise itself becomes the fix. In this way your deadlift, squat or running drill become the thing that makes all of the previous work stick and your body’s adaptive response to load helps to solidify the mobility and pattern changes. In the last video we walk you through a series of active mobilization drills to help improve thoracic and shoulder mobility. Turkish Getup Trigger point work from Brad Cox on Vimeo. If you found that after going through either the Hug of Death into the Archer sequence or Mike’s Kettlebell Arm bar sequence that you still had limitations in overhead mobility then this is where these drills come in. These are some of our quinticential active mobility drills incorporating the Acumobility Ball and Eclipse Roller to improve tissue quality and position. Work your way through these three exercises and then try the first two video progressions again. Hope you enjoyed this. For more great content like this sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on social media on Instagram and Facebook.   And for more from Mike Perry you can find him at  and follow him on social media at Instagram and Facebook -Brad Cox (CO-CEO/Founder of Acumobility)
using the acumobility ultimate back roller to work trigger points in the back and shoulders for triathletes

Upper Body Mobility Strategies with Professional Triathlete Angela Naeth

We recently had the huge honor of working with multiple 70.3 and Ironman champion Angela Naeth. In addition to her many triathlon accolades (she placed 8thin Kona this past year!), she also holds a masters degree in Physical Therapy.  We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to break out common movement patterns related to swimming/biking/running.  This is the first installment of a two-part series we worked on with Angela.  This first blog looks at the role limited thoracic rotation/ shoulder/ neck mobility plays in every aspect of triathlon, and how you can address it with consistent and targeted active mobility work! Naeth thoracic mobility from Brad Cox on Vimeo.   Assessment 1- Neck Rotation/Flexion You can do the first assessment standing or kneeling.  You will stack yourself straight, shoulders over the hips and sink the shoulders back and down. Rotate your head to one side and then bring your chin down to your clavicle. It is common for those that spend a lot of time in a hunched over position (think cycling or sitting at a desk for long hours) to want to shrug their shoulder to reach their chin to compensate for restricted mobility in the neck. As you can see in the video, Angela is unable to reach her chin to clavicle on both sides. This restriction will ultimately impact her ability to drop her shoulders down, fire her lats and breathe through the diaphragm – all very important factors that will impact the efficiency of her running stride as she comes off the bike.  Assessment 2 - Active Thoracic Rotation Test  Begin on hands and knees, then sink your hips back into lumbar lock position. Bring one elbow down between the knees so the forearm is lying on the ground facing forward. The other arm will be placed on the low back. Rotate the thoracic backwards toward the ceiling. You will see that Angela will try to shift the lower shoulder outwards to make up for restricted rotation (it would be ideal when performing this assessment to have someone stand right beside the lower shoulder to prevent them from shifting outwards). When performing this assessment, you would like to see at least 50-55 degrees of rotation. Angela is restricted on both sides, but considerably more so on the right side. This makes sense as Angela says she consistently is rotated to her right side during her swim and bike. Again, this will impact her swimming stroke and running stride which rely heavily on thoracic rotation.  Corrective 1 – Neck Mobility This release is the big bang for your buck. It’s quick, easy and you can do it anywhere! Start at the upper part of the SCM muscle (below your ear) with your Acumobility ball.  Apply gentle pressure into the neck (Note: you do not want to apply deep pressure to this area of the neck), rotate the ball and then take your neck through range of motion (rotation, flexion, etc). The mobility comes from twisting the fascia and then taking it through range of motion. Do this on both sides.  Corrective 2 – Serratus, Lats, Triceps Mobility Next we are going to use the Ultimate Back Roller to open up the lats, serratus and triceps.  While side lying, place the back roller under your lat/serratus anterior.  With the back knee bent, stabilize the opposite hip and fire the glute working the sling pattern relationship between the shoulder you rolling out and the opposing glut/hip.  Roll through the serratus and lats and when you find a tight spot, flex and extend your arm overhead.  If you had very limited rotation in the Assessment 2, this will be challenging at first but the more you do it the easier it will get.  Opening up this area regularly will be critical for swimmers, cyclists, and runners. Work 45 seconds on each side. Corrective 3 – Mid back Mobility Place the back roller in the mid back (spine should nicely fall in the gap of the roller) and spend 30-40 seconds rolling out the mid back. Next we pattern overhead extension. With the roller at the lower end of the mid back knees bent and core/hips engaged, take two Acumobility balls and crush the balls with your hands creating tension. Next reach overhead with both arms and release the tension. Bring arms back towards center, crush the balls and reach overhead again releasing the tension. With this drill, we are building stability in the core and glutes AND we are opening up thoracic extension.  Corrective 4 – Upper Thoracic Mobility Lying down face up and knees bent, place the balls on either side of the spine under the upper traps. Flex your upper back forward and hug your chest. Then lift your arms straight overhead and drop them, then butterfly them forward. Anyone with a tight upper back (who doesn’t?!) will find this equally tender and relieving. Do these several times.  Next with knees bent and the acumobility balls on either side of the spine and under the upper traps, come up to a bridge pose. Complete the same butterfly motion (flex the upper back, hug the chest and then lift your arms straight overhead).  Unify + Re-Assessment After completing our correctives, we are going to reassess the active thoracic rotation. But this time we will add fascial tensioning to achieve some gains in the end range of motion. With an Acumobility ball in each hand, get into the same assessment position as before., Go through thoracic rotation creating tension by crushing both balls and breathing deeply. Once you reach end of range, release the tension and breath out creating a little bit more range of motion. Of course, there are plenty of other correctives that would be helpful including pec major, pec minor, lats and abdomen.  It’s important to see the amount of change you can create in such a short amount of time using very focused and specific correctives that cue stability at the same time as working mobility. Give these a try and let us know how they work for you!   Big thanks to Angela for coming by our clinic to shoot these videos and to our partner TOPO Athletic for introducing us! When not training or racing (or doing mobility work;), Angela is running an awesome community she created for girls and women of all ages in endurance sports. We love the mission of this organization which brings women from all over the globe to support and inspire each other in their triathlon dreams. Check out their amazing work here iracelikeagirl!
using the acumobility ball and acumobility floss bands to fix ankle pain and ankle mobility in the squat

Fix your Knee Pain in the Squat with Rich Borgatti

Knee pain and tightness during the Squat and downhill running is a common problem with strength and endurance athletes. In this video we will teach you how to Assess and Correct one of the main causes. Let’s be clear, knee issues are always a combination of both STABILITY and MOBILITY. You can’t separate the two and we are going to show you some unique active mobilization strategies to correct not just the mobility problem but to also encourage proper stability and sequencing. The pattern that we identify here is one in which Rich has lost proper rotation of his Tibia on the right side and also has very restricted adductors and Vastus Medialis and Sartorius on the same side. This could have very possibly come from a ton of volume during his Spartan Race training and races or from something as simple as driving too much in the car and overusing the right foot. There are numerous other patterns and causative factors for knee pain in the squat which we will write about in future articles. The point of this article is not to give an exhaustive understanding of how to approach all of the possible causes of knee pain but rather to give a better understanding of one common pattern and some strategies to address this. Brad Cox from Acumobility works on Rich Borgatti from Mountain Strength CrossFit in Winchester MA. Here is the full video showing both assessments and corrections: How to Fix Knee Pain in your Squat from Brad Cox on Vimeo. Rich had been struggling with right knee pain on top of the patella ever since 2 long Spartan Races two months prior. The pain is most acute during the squat when he gets down to around 90 degrees. It also bothers him on steps and downhill walking/running. The pain is preventing him from doing squats and significantly interfering with his training. You can see during his squat assessment that he has to shift into his left hip to avoid the pain and that he also has an arch collapse of the right foot and trouble bringing the knee into alignment over the foot during squat (he also has trouble with his left arch mechanics but no mobility problems in the lower leg on that side).  In his case non of these things are super dramatic and so the pain is the main indicator.  That is why it is so essential to assess the pre biomechanics of the squat and not just rely on a visual assessment of the form itself. He had imaging that ruled out any structural damage to the joint or tendon and so right away we know that there has got to be a movement dysfunction at the root of his pain. This is very common in OCR racers as well as strength athletes.  We walk him through 2 very simple self-assessments to give us a starting place. We are big advocates of self-assessment, because very often you can quickly flush out where a problem might be coming from and know where to apply an active mobilization and re-patterning technique. Here in the clinic we would of course analyze all of his movement patterns both globally and locally, but in the gym a quick assessment can go a long way in telling you what is wrong. It is your responsibility to know your body and what might be impacting your lift that day. For the sake of the video we demonstrated just the failures that we found during assessment. Other things that we assessed and found not to be an issue were hip flexors, internal and external hip rotation, ASLR and thoracic rotation. Assessments: A) Lower Leg Rotation-   With hips squared off, take right foot (side with knee pain) and turn it 45 degrees inward. (You can see already with this alone that he has a difficult time even getting into 45 degrees.) Press the big toe into the ground and create an arch. In this case, he is having a really hard time keeping his big toe joint on the floor and activating his arch. Next, with their foot in place, have them rotate their knee out 45 degrees. His heel is immediately twisting inwards and he is starting to roll onto the outer part of his foot and loose the arch and ground contact with the big toe. He is beginning to have cramping in his arch at this point, which is common to see. This will indicate the need to work on lower leg mobility and arch mechanics to fix stride and squat. HIP MOBILITY ASSESSMENTS A) Hip External Rotation(on Left)– Have them lie on their back, right knee (pain side) flexed at 90 degrees and opposite leg straight. Rotate flexed lower leg inwards. His external hip rotation is great and he is at a full 90 degrees of mobility. B) Internal Hip Rotation(On RT)  Rotate flexed knee outwards and assess internal hip rotation. Again, his looks good on this side as well. The goal here is to reach a minimum of 30 degrees of rotation and ideally 40 degrees 2 B) Quick Adductor Flop Test– Place flexed right leg over the straight leg.  Try to drop your knee down and assess whether you can level the right knee without hiking the opposite hip off the ground. In this case, he is short 20-25 degrees indicating a lot of pulling force through adductors, VMO and Sartorius impacting patella tracking. (We also assessed hip flexors, Active straight leg raise and ankle dorsiflexion but all of them were clear and so so for the sake of brevity we just included these assessments in the blog.  But if any of those are restricted they could easily have attributed to his knee pain.) Overall Assessment: Lack of lower leg mobility coupled with really tight adductors (VMO, Sartorius, etc) creates excess rotational force that gets loaded onto the patella. Remember during the squat the body acts as a screw driving pressure up through the foot in a spiral through the lower leg/ upper leg and into the hips. If there is a restriction somewhere along that chain and that force cannot rotate correctly then all of that gets placed into the nearest joint (in this case his knee). Correctives: Now that we identified that the underlying problem with Rich’s knee pain is the lack of rotation in the lower leg and overly restricted inner thigh muscles we have to develop a strategy to being to fix this.  This article is for educational purposes only and if you have knee pain consult with a medical professional. Before beginning read the disclaimer: This is where targeted Active mobilization techniques are incredibly effective at improving function. We are going to work the muscles of the lower leg and inner thigh to improve rational force through the leg. Remember the goal of Active Mobilization is not to create some structural change to the tissue but rather to change communication through the nervous system and create an opportunity for neural retraining. Targeted work like this is only the first part of the fix. Once you have achieved the improvement in ROM and function you then have to train and load the movement pattern to ‘Lock’ those gains in. The mobility work is the ‘Hack’ to provide the opportunity for retraining but isn’t the full retraining itself! Tibialis Anterior Fix: Place an Acumobility ball on an elevated flat surface like a bench (or sturdy yoga block) and leaning over bench in runner’s pose place tib anterior (muscle on the outside of the shin bone) of affected leg onto ball. Squeeze bench, fire lats and sink full weight into the ball. Slow and controlled, move your foot through flexion and extension. 5 reps of flexion and extension, then move the ball down the belly of the muscle to another tender spot (find 3-4 tender spots total along the muscle and do 5 reps at each spot) Calf Vice Technique On the ground, place one Acumobility Ball under the outer calf muscle (peroneus muscle) and with another Acumobility ball in your hand place pressure on the inside of the shin bone (soleus muscle). As you manually apply pressure on the inside of the shin using the ball, take your foot through flexion and extension. Do 5-7 reps and then move the balls up a little higher on your calf. Find 3-4 tender spots and 5-7 reps at each spot.  Gastroc Calf Fix Elevate the Acumobility ball on a pad (or sturdy yoga block) and place the back of your calf (gastroc) directly on the ball. You may add more pressure by placing your opposite leg on top of your shin. Move your foot through flexion and extension. Search for 3 tender spots in the belly of your calf and do 5 reps at each spot. Adductors / Sartorius / Vastus Medialis Trigger Point Release Take a sturdy elevated surface like a dumbbell (or yoga block) and place an Acumobility ball on top. Lay on your side, place your inner thigh on top of the ball and take your lower leg through flexion and extension. Use your hand to apply additional pressure on the ball. Do 6-7 reps and then move the ball up the inner leg. Find 4-5 tender spots on the upper inner leg. This release is incredibly effective at improving ROM and depth in the squat.  Calf Flossing Start just above the ankle and wrap the Acumobility Level1 or Level 2 floss band up the lower leg at 150% stretch (Note: do not leave the band on for longer than 30-40 seconds). Leaning into the bench, with the non flossed leg forward do a quick knee drive stretching into the bench. Then with flossed leg forward, flex and extend the knee adding in hip rotation (keeping big toe on the ground). Standing up with both feet on the ground, push big toe into the ground, rotate knees out for a few seconds. The floss is providing both universal compression to the area and also when released the built up pressure creates a flushing affect bringing fresh blood and lymph through the calf.  Knee Flossing Sitting on the ground with knee slightly bent, start wrapping the Acumobility floss on the upper portion of the lower leg (calf) to just above the knee. Leave on no longer than 30-40 seconds. Briefly take a short walk around with floss on and do a couple of knee lifts. Remove floss. Re-assess: We forgot to film this in the single take and so just took quick pictures afterwards to show the immediate change in function in both the adductor drop test and in the lower leg rotation test.  Adductor Reassessment: You can clearly see a dramatic improvement in ROM here with only going through the adductor release 1 time. This shows how with the right input you can make a big difference to movement quality in real time and then begin training that improvement into your  Lower Leg Rotation Test: You can see a huge improvement in his ability to maintain big toe contact with the ground and keeping the arch of the foot engaged without cramping as he works the knee out. This shows significantly improved lower leg rotation and stability in the foot. Squat Re-test: Get in squat position, take an Acumobility ball in each hand and squeezing each ball to create tension and work on re-patterning stability as you go through the squat. Assess knee pain post corrective exercises. You would expect to see a decrease in pain as you resolve the underlying pulling problem at the root of the pain. Degree of pain during reassessment gives you an idea of whether or not you can begin training the squat again or whether you need to take some more time and work through the remaining layers before adding load. Rich had significant and immediate improvement in knee pain after doing the correctives.  Following up with him 2 days later the pain was still better and he was able to start training his squat again while continuing to do the correctives as a warmup.  This shows you that knowing where the problem is stemming from can help you develop a corrective strategy to quickly address some of the underlying movement dysfunctions and gives you a starting place to build on in the rehab process. Keep in mind that these assessments and corrections are just as important to do before any pain develops because any problems in these areas will first show up as strength limiters and inefficiencies in the movement pattern. With just a little work you can create a big difference in movement quality and immediately improve position and strength in the squat. If you are interested in learning more sign up for our Newsletter and stay tuned for some amazing upcoming online courses that we will be releasing in the coming months. Have a great New Year! -Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder of Acumobility)
using the acumobility ball and boomstick and shoulderok to fix shoulder trigger points with Chris Duffin of Kabuki Strength

Vise Technique and Shoulderok Stretegies with Chris Duffin

Shoulerok: Acumobility Ball Vise Technique from Brad Cox on Vimeo. In this video Brad Cox from Acumobility and Chris Duffin from Kabuki Strength demonstrate a great sequence for incorporating the Vise Technique/ Active Mobilization and ShoulderokV3 to improve overall shoulder mobility and stability.  If you want more content like this sign up for our monthly educational newsletter here. The key component of the Vise technique is the compression of muscle tissue from both sides as you go through active range of motion. We have found this to have huge neurological benefit when applied to a restricted area before training. The outcome is generally immediately improved Range of Motion and also increased ability to properly activate the muscle group that was worked. In this case we are demonstrating how to execute the Vise technique using a Level 2 Acumobility Ball and the ShoulderokV3.   The new head of the ShoulderokV3 is designed specifically to be used as a myofascial release tool. You can also substitute in the Boomstick or another Acumobility ball to apply pressure on the top.  We are excited to have the ShoulderokV3 for sale on our site so if you want one you can pick it up here. Vise Technique to Lat/ Serratus Here we are working through Chris’ Lat muscle first.   This helps to improve the contraction and release pattern of the lat muscle. First place the Acumobility Ball under the lat muscle to help create a shelf. Then apply pressure down with the Shoulderok aiming directly towards the Acumobility Ball. (You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure here to get the desired effect and the discomfort level should never be more than 7/10. If you feel a nerve sensation stop and move locations) Reach slowly overhead and repeat 3-5 reps before finding another trigger point. VISE Technique to Subscap and External rotators Second we are going to target the Subscapularis muscle and External Rotators of the Shoulder. This muscle is deep on the inside of the armpit on the back of the scapula and is largely responsible for internal rotation of the shoulder. If there are restrictions in this muscle it can negatively impact external rotation/ overhead mobility and proper shoulder packing. Place the Acumobility ball in the back of the scapula on a trigger point in one of the External Rotator muscles (depending on your specific restrictions you will have to hunt around for the right spot). Next apply pressure with the Shoulderok aiming 45 degrees in towards the back of the scapula (follow the same rules as before for pressure and to avoid the nerves in the area) Now slowly reach overhead 3-5 reps NOTE: We should emphasize here that more is not better when it comes to mobility work. The key is to create the largest amount of functional change in the least amount of time. If you find yourself having to continually work the same area or mobility is not improving then you are doing something wrong either in your training or you have identified the wrong area to work. Pec and Biceps Rollout Next step we are going to address the front of the shoulder using the Ultimate Back Roller. The height and bump pattern on the Ultimate Back Roller make it an awesome tool for rolling out the biceps, pecs and sternal region. Come into a frog stretch position and then roll up and down the bicept and through the pec for 30-40 seconds while on stretch. Shoulderok Swings Finally  we are going to use the ShoulderokV3to lock in the mobility gains and increase core control and shoulder stability. This is one of our favorite tools for overall shoulder health and warm ups because it has immediate and wide ranging effects neurologically.   These secret is in the smooth control and sequence of contract and release while going through the motion. This encourages proper intra abdominal pressure and bracing to prevent rib flare as well as helps to increase proper shoulder packing and improve mobility.  You can see that the key is maintaining proper core activation and intra- abdominal pressure while going through the swing. Note: Keeping the Shoulerok closer to the body helps maintain the smooth transition between positions. Active Mobilization Key Points One of the things that we constantly emphasize is that Active Mobilization is just one piece of the puzzle. Think of it as temporarily hacking the nervous system to improve positioning and create an opportunity for a better pattern. But then you need to immediately build on this potential to create that pattern and get those neurological changes to stick. This is where a tool like the Shoulderokcan be so useful. Building a sequence starting with Active mobility to a restricted area and then bridging to a stability integration drill like Shoulderok swings is an incredible way to increase shoulder mobility while also improving stability. Try this at home as a great warm up before overhead or bench press days. If you don’t have the tools to do the vise technique you can also look at our extensive library of single tool active mobilization drills on our website.If you want more awesome content like this delivered monthly signup for hour newsletter here(if you don’t get an email within 24 hours check your spam folder and put us on your accepted email list).  In the next couple months we will be dropping some really big announcements on the education front so sign up for the Newsletter if you are interested in learning more. -Brad Cox (CO- CEO/Founder Acumobility) You can find more about our partner Chris Duffin and Kabuki Strength Here: Disclaimer: If you have a know shoulder injury or there is pain doing any of these exercises immediately stop and go to a qualified professional who can evaluate and work on you. This technique when not applied by yourself should only be done with somebody who has re requisite training and license to do muscle work.  All of this information is for educational purposes only and Acumobility assumes no responsibility for any injuries occurred or misuse of this education.
using the acumobility ball and graston technique to work trigger points to improve shoulder and diaphragm

Graston + Acumobility Strategies to Improve Diaphragm and Pec Mobility

We are excited to announce our partnership with Graston Technique, the leader in Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue education and tools. By combining Graston Techniques and Acumobility you can bring clinical results to a whole new level and we will be releasing more collaborative educational content over the next year! Graston Technique® (GT) therapy is, it is an advanced form of instrument-assisted, soft tissue mobilization, which incorporates the use of six specially designed stainless steel instruments. GT therapy enables clinicians to effectively treat the adverse effects of tissue and fascial restrictions as well as improve and maintain optimal range of motion. In this first collaborative Blog we are going to show you some introductory sequences to address Diaphragm and Pec restrictions.  Brad Cox from Acumobility and Jackie Shakar (the Head instructor at Graston Technique) will demonstrate how to integrate Graston Techniques followed by Acumobility active mobilization techniques to enhance treatment outcomes and give actionable homework for the client. Graston/ Acumobility Diaphragm Video from Brad Cox on Vimeo. In the first Video we demonstrate a quick Diaphragmatic breathing assessment.  This is followed by 2 different Graston Techniques on the lower border of the ribs and underneath to address restrictions for the diaphragm and we then demonstrate how to follow up the Graston Techniques with 2 different Acumobility drills. Step 1:  We demonstrate a very simple breathing assessment to determine whether or not the diaphragm is restricted.  Your diaphragm is a large dome shaped muscle underneath your rib cage.  When you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and moves downwards.  This causes the lungs to expand and air pressure drops pulling air into the lungs.  When the diaphragm relaxes, lung volume decreases, air pressure builds, and air is forced out during exhalation.  If the diaphragm is tight and cannot contract and release, then the lungs can only expand so far and lung capacity is diminished.  This will cause shallow breathing into the chest, rather than the abdomen.  This will also increase tension in the neck, upper back and pectoralis muscles.    Diaphragm activation plays a huge role in initiating intra abdominal pressure and proper bracing during loaded activities. Assessment: While lying on your back with your knees bent, place one hand over your heart and the other hand over your belly button.  Take a deep breath in.  Notice how high the abdomen expands and how easily.  A sign of good lung capacity is a slow, deep breath that allows the abdomen to triple in size and is then released slowly without discomfort. Poor breathing mechanics are indicated by an inability to breathe into the lower abdominals. Graston Techniques: Step 1 Graston Technique: Jackie first demonstrates a Graston Technique called Framing in which she uses the end of a Graston tool to systematically work under the edge of the ribcage along the border of the diaphragm. Step 2 Graston Technique: Then Jackie segues to the next technique which is a Scoop and Pull technique using another Graston Tool while the patient breathes in and out.  Both of these techniques are incredibly helpful in improving breathing mechanics and Diaphragm activation. Acumobility Techniques:  We demonstrate 2 different homework techniques to build on what was accomplished during treatment and give the patient strategies for improving Diaphragm activation at home. 1StTechnique:  Here we are utilizing the Ultimate Back Roller to provide myofascial release to abdominal muscles and to provide resistance so that we can increase Diaphragm activation and proper breathing.  This is a great technique when you are quickly trying to work the area and initiate better breathing and bracing.   Directions:  Roll up and down on the Ultimate Back Roller from the low ribs down through the abdomen for about 20-30 seconds.  Then place the Roller such that the bumps are centered near the bottom of the ribs and sink your weight into it.  Now initiate abdominal breathing such that as you are breathing in you are trying to let the breathe push against the roller and fill all the way around your abdomen like a tire inflating.  Repeat this 2-5 times.  (The first image to the left show Ryan as he has breathed out.  The second image to the right shows him activating his diaphragm and breathing into his abdomen pressing against the roller) 2ndTechnique: This is a deeper diaphragm release using the Acumobility balls. Place 2 Acumobility Balls on the ground and lay face down on top of them with the balls located just under the rib cage about half way down from the sternum.  Bring your arms up overhead and then breathe into the balls pressing against them as the abdomen fills like a tire inflating.  Repeat this 2-5 times.   (Note: This post is intended for medical practitioners and is just for educational purposes only.  See below for disclaimer and contraindications) Graston Technique and Acumobility on Pecs Next in this video we show how to incorporate Graston Technique and Acumobility to address restrictions in the Pec Minor and Major muscles.  Restrictions in this muscle and lack of ROM often occur with poor breathing mechanics and posture. It is incredibly important to address any restrictions in the Pec muscle when dealing with Shoulder and or neck issues and when trying to improve overhead position and shoulder mechanics. Graston/ Acumobility Pec Video from Brad Cox on Vimeo.   Graston Techniques: Jackie Shakar shows how to use the GT-3 instrument to do a flaying technique to separate one layer of tissue from another.  In this case she is demonstrating how to provide better glide and ROM between Pec Minor and Major. Acumobility Technique: Brad Cox demonstrates how to follow this up doing Active Mobilization to the pec muscle utilizing the Acumobility Ball.  This in incredibly helpful at working to re-pattern restrictions in ranges of motion that the pec is negatively affecting. To set up: You place the Acumobility Ball against a Doorframe or Weight rack.  (This is exactly why we made the ball not roll so that we can apply constant pressure while going through ROM and without the ball rolling or shifting away.)  Find 2 Trigger points in the Pec and drive pressure in to the lateral side of the pec at a 45 degree angle working the exact area that Jackie just did the Graston Technique on.  You are then going to put the shoulder through 3 different ranges of motion as you create stability through the rest of the body. 1stRangeis an open and close range.  You want to keep the shoulder dropped and prevent the trap from engaging as you open and close the arm 3-5 reps. 2ndRange is an overhead reach motion in which you raise and lower the arm 3-5 reps 3rdRange is an internal and external ROM in which you work through those ranges for 3-5 reps. You can also add fascial tensioning to these techniques to further increase the benefits.  You do this by crushing the Acumobility ball as you work through the range of motion. Creating tension and then releasing it at the end range. These are some great examples of how you can utilize both Graston Techniques and Acumobility techniques to bring your results to the next level and provide both amazing treatment on the table as well as effective and actionable active mobilization homework to build on the gains made in the clinic. For all clinicians we highly recommend taking a Graston Technique course and you can find out more here:  If you are looking for treatment of any orthopedic conditions you can search their list of certified practitioners on their site as well. If you want more amazing content then sign up for our Newsletter to get monthly educational content.  Also stay tuned for our Level 1 Acumobility Course to launch this Winter both online and in person around the country. -Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder) Jackie Shakar travels extensively to teach Graston Technique all over the world and can also be found at Central Mass Physical Therapy The model for this blog was Acumobility Coach Dr. Ryan Hewitt This blog is for educational purposes only and is intended specifically for.  Please see the disclaimer here.  Specific contraindications for the Diaphragm release would include any medical conditions affecting the underlying organs, hernias, injuries to the area, digestive issue and high blood pressure.  Before beginning any exercise or corrective regimen consult your medical provider.
acumobility ball and acumobility eclipse foam roller to release trigger points in the legs for runners mobility

The "BIG 4" Mobility Strategies for Runners with Anna Willard

As many of you are recovering from Thanksgiving feasts, football games and Turkey Trots, we wanted to delve back into the Acumobility archive and bring back an oldie but a goodie - the ACU-Running "Big 4". Acu-Running, is our unique running program that we developed while working on hundreds of elite and amateur runners in our Sports Medicine clinic.   Two years ago, In collaboration with our partner Topo Athletic we launched the free online version of the program to teach athletes how to look at the underlying movement patterns that serve as the building blocks of the running form. Through a series of videos, Acu-Running will teach you how to self-analyze your underlying mobility and stability imbalances, and then show you how to correct these imbalances and apply it back into the running form. The Acu-Running "Big Four" is a quick and easy way to address the 4 most common mobility restrictions for runners: quadriceps/hip flexors, hamstrings, outer hips, and thoracic (back). The "Big Four" videos will show you how to test your own mobility, and then address any restrictions through rolling, targeted myofascial release, and muscle patterning/activation. Quadriceps and Hip Flexors Hip extension is a critical part of effective running. This video will help you understand if you have sufficient quad and hip flexor mobility to get into full extension in the running stride. You will also learn three part mobility progression to help gain better mobility in these areas. Hamstrings: Hamstring mobility is incredibly important in your running stride because it allows for proper hip flexion. See if you have enough hamstring mobility for effective running form. If not, we've got a great series of drills to help you out. Outer Hip: Outer hip mobility is responsible for maintaing proper pelvic rotation and hip extension in the running stride. Tight outer hips may even lead to excessive load being placed on through the knees and low back during running. Watch this video to see if you have proper hip mobility, as well as learn some great ways to make it even better. Thoracic Mobility: Thoracic and shoulder mobility is often overlooked by runners, but maintaining proper mobility through this area of the body is essential in creating a sound transference of power between the torso and hips. A lack of mobility can distort this movement, causing abnormal rotational force to be place on the hips, ultimately sapping power and creating imbalances. Desk-sitters, you are going to love this one! Note: (We released the Ultimate Back Roller since filming this video and highly recommend using it for the 1st part of the release that we showed with the Eclipse Roller as it was specifically designed for that function) If you want more great content like this delivered monthly signup for our Newsletter Here This is also just a small taste of the in-depth content available for free as part of the full Acu-Running program which can be found at Our Partner Topo Athleticis an incredible shoe company that makes the best natural running shoes in the world.  They have a mission to help athletes Move Better Naturally and are dedicated to creating products and supporting education to do just that. Stay tuned for more running educational content coming soon. -Brad Cox (Co-CEO/Founder Acumobility)