A while back, I wrote a post that talked about some of the possible consequences to not stretching and loosening up before playing disc golf. I described the very compelling reason that I personally stretch and warm up before throwing plastic. In fact, I do some type of mobility, stretching, yoga, or myofascial release 3-4 times a day. I’m never going back to having a back injury. Never.
There are a bunch of different things that fall under the “mobility” umbrella. It can get quite confusing and overwhelming. It’s also something that doesn’t get your pecs a popping or your guns swole up as they say. It adds time to a workout and it’s the one thing most people skip.
Last week we talked about making a space in your home to work out and train for disc golf. One of the many benefits of having a training space in your home is that you’ve eliminated one of the reasons for not doing mobility work, time. The following routine will take less time than most people would spend just driving to a gym. There’s really no excuse not to do it. Especially since it is critically beneficial in so many ways.
For that reason, I wanted to start this series by giving you a mobility routine that was quick, easy, and effective. I want you to get into the habit of doing the mobility work before you ever add resistance or weight training. There are several benefits to starting the use of your new disc golf home gym with daily mobility work.
- Daily mobility work will get you in the habit of using your new space regularly.
- It’s a 10-15 minute commitment. Anyone can stick to a 10-15 minute commitment long enough to make it a habit.
- If you go no further than this with the use of your new space, this one practice alone will serve your disc golf game and overall health extremely well.
- It will get you ready to safely start resistance training and working with weight and other implements.
- It will make you feel better through your entire day.
- It will help you become resilient and resistant to injury. Especially the overuse injuries so common in our sport.
While I do a variety of static, dynamic, myofascial, and other mobility routines. The one that follows is an easy to follow and simple routine that will serve you well pre and post workout as well as pre and post round.
I recommend that you start by doing this once a day. Many of you will start to feel the benefits in just a few days and will want to do it more. I can think of many worse things than to start and finish your day with a simple mobility routine. If you only do it a few times a week, and you don’t currently do anything now, that’s a victory too. Like I’ve said before, any small step forward is a win. Take enough of them and you’ve gone a long way!
As a note, this is a routine that I do and works for me. I’m not a certified personal trainer, doctor, yoga instructor, or any other person of authority. I’m just a guy who has found something that works for him. You should always consult a medical professional before starting any type of physical training or movement you aren’t used to.
Remember to breath with your belly, deeply and slowly, as you do this routine. Instead of holding each stretch for a set count, I usually hold each stretch for a certain number of deep breaths. A good deep breath typically consists of an inhale for a count of 5, hold for 2, exhale for 7, hold for 2. Doing this will make sure you are taking your time, and it will help to make sure you are breathing correctly throughout the routine.
- Wrist Flexor stretch, hold for two breaths
- Wrist Extension stretch, hold for two breaths
- Shake your hands out, keeping them loose
- Side flexion (latissimus dorsi, trees major), two breaths on a side
- Windmills, 20 in each direction with each arm
- Arm swings (dynamically swinging your arms from a “hugging yourself” position to arms stretched wide and back) 10 times
- Dynamic core rotation (sideways arm swing)
- Standing calf stretch, three breaths per side
- Quad stretch, three breathes per side
- Hip flexor stretch, three breaths per side
- Hip rotator stretch, three breaths per side
- PNF or table hamstring stretch, three breaths per side
- Supine spinal twist, 5 breaths per side
- Repeated extension in lying, inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up, 5 reps
- Bird Dog, 5 per side, inhale with limbs down, exhale with them extended
- Fire Hydrant, 5 per side, inhale when on hands and knees, exhale with leg raised
- Child’s pose, 10 breaths, really relax into this one
Once you get the flow of this routine, this should take almost exactly 10 minutes. Here’s the bonus for 5 minutes extra that really gets things loose and feeling great.
Get yourself a LaCrosse ball ($2.49 at Dick’s or pretty much any other sporting goods store) or better yet, a Rad Roller.
- Hit the bottom of both feet, lingering where there is tension or knots.
- Move up to your calves, again, stopping and letting the ball sink into areas where there are knots. You especially want to get the outside of the calves right where they meet your shin.
- Get your neck and upper back, especially if you don’t use a backpack type bag.
- And my favorite, do the triceps all the way from your shoulder to your elbow. You’d be amazed at how tight and knotted the tricep on your throwing arm can get.
You can do any of the above with the roller or just the Lacrosse ball. Heck, for now, use a tennis ball as a temporary solution. Don’t let the lack of a piece of equipment stop you. Start now, get the equipment later.
That’s it. I do the above every morning and every night. I do the first 10 minute portion pre workout as well. After just a few days, you’ll be feeling the benefits. After a week, you’ll be moving better than you ever did before. After a few weeks, you will feel weird if you don’t do it on a given day. At some point, you’ll be walking on the course and realize just how much more freely you are moving.
Next week, I’ll be reviewing a whole slew of mobility implements. Once you feel the benefits, especially of the myofascial release portion (the last 5 minutes with the LaCross ball/Rad Roller), you will be tempted to get all kinds of new toys that look like they would help.
I’ll have a guide to those for you in next week’s post. Until then, keep using your new disc golf home gym space. Get stretched out and loosened up. Get those muscles, tendons, and joints ready for action. We’ll be putting them to work soon!