Sunday, 2 April 2017

Mobility Stick

I’ve been using this piece of PVC pipe for a little over a year now for my shoulder mobility work as set out in the Gymnastic bodies’ handstand course; however I made one minor change recently which has made quite a bit of difference.

I’ll start back at the beginning, to show just why Mobility stick is my preferred option now. This may seem really basic, but trust me; I was able to stuff it up a few times.

The Gymnastic Bodies handstand course utilises lightly weighted mobility with a PVC pipe or wooden dowel for much of the first half of the course. I think the suggested weight is 2-5 pounds with Coach’s stronger athletes using 10-20kg. Now in my stubborn mind, 5kg seemed like a great place to start, and the bar I use on my pull up frame is about 5-6kg so I decided to use this.

So for the next 12-18 months I floundered around, making no progress on the mobility movements because the bar was so damn heavy I couldn’t complete the movements with anywhere close to correct form.

This steel pipe is way too heavy

Then I was listening to a podcast with Coach Sommer (I’m not even sure which one) where he spoke about starting with only 1kg in some cases. That when it hit me, the pipe was way too heavy for me. So I switched the steel pipe out for PVC with a 2.5kg weight. Suddenly I was able to do the movements. Not great, not even well, but at least the resembled what I should be doing.

I had been grinding along for about a year with the PVC pipe when I got the idea to add some marker points to get a gauge of how close I was to shoulder width (Or one hand with outside). So I got out some tape, marked out the center, shoulder width, then 1, 2 and 3 hand widths for shoulder width. This lead to the next big gains in shoulder mobility. Now I was able to better gauge where I was, where I was going, and where I was last session. This has helped me to push just a little harder each session, while not over doing it by setting my hands too close too soon.


So the take away from this twofold. Don’t use too heavy of a pipe, start very light (bonus point, make it load-able). And secondly, see up some markers you can work to. This last point kind of goes without saying, but if you’re not working on your shoulder mobility, you should be. Look up Gymnastic bodies, weighted dislocates (take their advice, not mine), and start working on it. Go slow, it could take years, but it’s worth doing. Don’t be lazy, work on it.

It may seem like 500 words is way too many to say wrap some PVC pipe with electrical tape, but I made mistakes so that you don’t have to.

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