MobilityWOD Quick Start Guide

I discovered MobilityWOD (MWOD) last year and love the content they put up. It has really opened my eyes on my own problems and limitations, for which I never really had good solutions for – but now I do. My education on anatomy and proper movement and mobility has gone way up as a result of their presentation of the material – previously it seemed like you had to be some health professional to understand what was going on. All these big words and concepts – nothing ever stuck until now.
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett of MWOD is an amazing book. His site is an extension of the book, kept up to date in real time with developments from him and his staff. While the content came out of Crossfit circles, it is relevant to any athletic activity.
In the forums, I posted this entry on how to start with MWOD. Despite the approachable nature of the material (formerly unapproachable in big medical and scientific terms), it is still a lot to take in. So here is my short cut (with minor edits from the forum post) to getting started with MWOD and how to diagnose and fix your particular problems:
I can feel for you. When I started going through the material, it was daunting. In fact, it still is as more gets added each day. And then, as my PT likes to tell me, year over year the philosophies can change (like Kstarr’s stance on icing, where it’s promoted in his early videos and not in his later ones). But yet those videos are still up! Dang it!
Here’s my suggestion for a template on shortening the process:
1. Get Becoming A Supple Leopard (BSL). Watch some of the early MWOD videos, Episode 1 and 2.
2. I would definitely spring for at least a month of PRO access to watch the webinars. They also give you a sense for the problem areas on most athletes. Once your understanding increases, your ability to address problems increase.
I would also highly recommend subscribing monthly to PRO. The videos there are updated daily in DailyRx, and there is always something new I learn, some little detail I missed the last time through.
3. I would then go into BSL and read the early chapters 1,2,3,4. Pay attention to the various tests there, like deep squat and evaluating external and internal rotation at the shoulders and hips. Try some of those. Are there any that you cannot do? If so, then work on that. That can give you a start on identifying which areas can be improved, even if you have no visible problems now.
4. Get a lacrosse ball, Battlestar Big and Little, Supernova, Gemini, Voodoo bands, Rogue Fitness bands green and black, Yoga Tune Up Alpha Ball and Therapy Balls (Yes this can set you back a lot of cash but it IS WORTH IT). Use these in your mobs (short for mobilizations) to work on those areas you want to improve.
Select a test like a deep squat that you want to improve. Use mobs for the relevant areas. After each mob, get up and test the squat again. If improved, remember this mob for future work. Keep going to next mob. stop, get up and test again, etc. etc. It can take days/weeks to achieve the full ROM in a given test or it might take an hour.
5. You can also use mobs to see if you need to work on an area. I often go down into banded distraction hip openers, only to find that I don’t have any significant corners to release. So i don’t hold those for 2 minutes but quickly move to the next mob.
6. Are you into a certain sport? There are videos that pertain to certain sports. that can also speed up the process by getting you to focus on a given area(s).
Yes there is a lot. i would slowly work into it. it’s all very interesting when you start digging in. and yes it is kinda overwhelming in the beginning.
If you live near a good MWOD trained PT or movement specialist, they can show you what a process looks like live. I did some sessions with Roop Sihota and it was awesome watching how he evaluates and goes through the process. I also video the session so i can go back and review later.

I loved the MWOD process so much that I went (and suffered through) a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer course, and am heading for the Movement and Mobility Prep Course, taught by MWOD staff.