HSP MMA Series Part 3: Mobility


For reference mobility refers to the range of motion of a joint


Flexibility refers to the flexibility of a muscle


Mobility and flexibility are two different terms but are often referred to as the same thing.


Most people have poor mobility




It can be put down to a number of reasons.


1.     Our modern day sedentary lifestyle

2.     Poor movement patterns

3.     Over doing a certain movement pattern (example: punching)

4.     No real emphasis on improving or maintaining

5.     They’re lazy


Let me elaborate on the first point.


Our modern day sedentary lifestyle includes: sitting on your ass all day, slouching and poor posture.


This encourages the anterior (front) of your body to “tighten” which can leave the posterior (back) long and weak.


Obviously this causes an imbalance and when you ask your body to perform a movement outside of the norm it can cause injury.


Let’s see an example to see if this makes more sense


Exhibition A: “Captain bench press (CBP)”


CPB works in an office.


He is sedentary most of the day slouching in his office chair.


His hobbies are to crush bench press and bicep curls 5-days a week.


He has no emphasis on properly training his body or looking after it for that matter


He probably doesn’t know any better.


You don’t know what you don’t know.


One day he throws a heavy shoulder press into his regime and BAM he aggravates his shoulder doing a simple overhead press.




He’s already putting his body into a poor state through not taking care of it, then we add his consistent poor posture at work to compile the issue.


He’s consistently tightening his chest and biceps causing his shoulders to rotate inward over time.


Then he throws in an overhead press while he is already internally rotated and you’re on track for an injury.


How do I know?


I used to be that guy (without the office job).


Now you can imagine that example with fighters, consistently throwing punches, which can have a similar effect on tightening the front of the pecs/shoulders.


By now you should be well aware that committing time and effort to improving your mobility as a fighter will mean a few things.


1.     Its going to be uncomfortable

2.     You will get less injuries

3.     You will move better

4.     You will improve your fight performance


How to obtain an injury free body: strength and mobilize ALL parts of the body.


Fascia & Mobility


If you asked me what fascia was 4 years ago I would have said some kind of makeup.


Now it seems to be a bit of a buzzword in the industry yet so many people still don’t understand it.


The first time I had seen or heard of fascia I was watching Mike Boyles “Functional Strength Coach” video series and he asked a group of athletes to test their forward reach to toe touch range of motion.


After that he asked them to roll out their feet with a tennis ball for 1 minute on each side.


Then they retested and most of them got 1-2 inches on-top of their previous range of motion.


I was mind blown


How the heck did rolling out the feet correlate to what I thought was hamstring/lower-back flexibility?


Then he begins to explain the fascial system


From what I’ve learned over the last 4 years the best way to describe fascia would be a series of interconnecting webs that encase muscles, these webs connect with each other from head to toe.


Now you’re thinking what does this fascia have to do with me.


My opinion on mobility/flexibility has changed over the last few years.


Maybe this fascial system has something to it.


I’ve asked a few physio friends on their thoughts on fascia and they couldn’t really give me an answer besides “They don’t teach that at uni”


What I’ve also learnt over the last few years since finishing my masters is that there’s a whole other side to: health, performance, nutrition than what they teach you in school.


Maybe that’s why this system is failing us.


The world is becoming more: stressed, toxic, fat, sick and hateful as the days go on.


Mobility For MMA


I’ve found that most of the guys I see have a few common issues:


·      Crazy tight pecs/shoulders

·      Weak external rotators

·      Crazy tight hip flexors

·      Little to no posterior chain musculature (hamstrings, glutes, lower back)


Most of these guys have niggles all over their body, do you know what that means?


Your body is telling you something isn’t right.


Pain is not good and no you should not train through pain.


Pain means you’re doing something wrong.


After my guys have been through an assessment of where they’re at we identify the biggest bang for your buck mobility to get them back to some form of normalcy.


Developing mobility or correcting issues takes time, there’s some things we can do to get short-term relief but over the long term we need a solid system that’s going to yield mobility results.


We implement a 10-exercise daily mobility routine for a shotgun approach and then get specific with each issue.


Mobility is usually divided into three areas:


1.     Ankles

2.     Hips

3.     T- Spine


In our shotgun approach daily mobility we cover all these bases starting from the ankles and working our way up.


Sample Daily Mobility


1.     3D Knee To Wall x20

2.     Connor Mcgregor Hold x45s

3.     Banded Hip Flexor Release x45s

4.     Pigeon + Head To Floor x20

5.     Splits + Head To Floor x20

6.     Windmills x20

7.     Double Arm Hangs x30s

8.     Single Arm Hangs x10s

9.     Banded Shoulder Dislocations x20

10. 3D Dumbbell Pec Release x15s In Each Position


By Tim Frey MS.c