MOBO = Mobility

You hear your coaches harp on you about staying on top of your mobility, but do you actually follow up with that? Chances are that mobility and recovery in general gets swept right under the rug all too often. Sadly, the time that we see the best adherence to our mobility pleas is right after an injury stemming from the lack of mobility in that areas to begin with.

As coaches we know that you are all busy people, but it's our job to make sure that your take all realms of your wellness and fitness equally serious. We do our best to educate you on ways to mobilize specific areas that are bugging you, but it ultimately boils down to just doing it! All the mobility knowledge in the world won't do you any good if you don't physically perform the tasks given to you.

On the flipside, sometimes the hang up is actually a lack of "know-how". It's understandable. There's a lot going on with the human body, and a lot of different content out there telling you to do "X", while others tell you to do "Y".

Taking all of this into account, we thought that we would serve our clients best by partnering with some of the best in the industry to bring you the highest quality information and education possible. The two most trusted establishments in Austin for us are:

  • Next Level Chiropractic and Rheab, owned and operated by Sam Sneed 
  • Christie Powell, MSPT, STS, USSF D. Christie is a Physical Therapist, and Owner/Director of Champion Performance. She is also a Strength Training Specialist and a PhD Candidate UT Austin, Exercise Science specializing in Athlete Return to Sport Following Injury.

Today, we have asked CP (Christie) to give us a quick run-down of some of the most common troubled areas in athletes and what you can do to eliminate the dysfunction in those areas through self-mobilization. She will also be giving you sneak-peaks of her very own all-in-one mobility device that she calls the MOBO System. This thing is truly the swiss army knife of mobility equipment!

Before we hand it over to CP, I want to invite anyone(open to the public) to join CP this Saturday(11.1.14) at TCS from 10-11am. She will be running all participants through a free mobility session and will be utilizing her new MOBO System to effectively tackle those troubled areas. If you'd like to join...SIGN UP HERE!

Free Massage!!! Who wouldn’t grab that Groupon? Massage increases blood flow and manipulates the soft tissue so that we gain access to freedom of movement. Mobility is movement, so when you self-mobilize you are essentially getting a free massage.

Mobility, and range of motion, can be decreased by tight muscles, tendons, capsules, and scarring. Mobilizing allows you to improve the movement of the joint by manipulating and increasing the blood flow to these soft tissues. This in effect can increase performance and improve efficiency of larger movements.

Injury can occur by attempting to force a joint through its’ range of motion when it is not available, or because it is compromised. Healthcare practitioners can help by using myofascial techniques such as ART, Airrosti, MDT and others but the best way to maintain the integrity of tissue is through frequent and consistent self-mobilization.

I believe mobilization is so important that I have spent the past two years developing a new mobility tool, MOBO System, which addresses all areas of the body. Below is a breakdown of how you can maximize efficiency and force production through mobilization.

MOBO For Athletes – Whole Body Breakdown

1. Plantar Fasciitis:

Do you have pain in the bottom of your feet? Grab one of the end tips from the MOBO wand and literally just stand on it. Each side of the end tip spreads your fascia differently, so try both and find what works best for you!

2. Ankle/Calf mobility:

One of the most overlooked issues leading to poor squat depth. Get into this region to loosen up prior to pistols or squats.

3. Quads:

This collection of muscles can be a strong, dominant group, which can restrict both the hip and the knee. You can address this area with either a stick or a foam roller.

4. Hip Flexor and Glutes:  

If you have issues with squat depth or can’t sit cross-legged, and a lacrosse ball doesn’t quite cut it try using MOBO System to get into the hip flexor, IT Band, psoas, or glutes.


5. Thoracic Spine:

MOBO takes the basic functionality of a peanut (2 lacrosse balls taped together) and takes it to the next level. Adjust with in ½” increments to properly get into your T-Spine paraspinal muscle bellies whether a smaller woman or a 6’5” man. This really helps keep the chest up and get a straighter back when setting up for lifts.

6. Pecs, Traps, Periscapular Region:

Do you have shoulder pain or restrictions going overhead with Olympic lifts or gymnastics movements? MOBO targets the pecs, traps, and periscapular muscles to increase range of motion in the shoulder. 


These are just a few areas that you can target using MOBO System. For more information, education videos, and how to purchase on pre-sale go to

Knees Out....An Observation

TCS Athlete, Lerrion, demonstrates a strong, stable back squat.

TCS Athlete, Lerrion, demonstrates a strong, stable back squat.

If you've been training for some time, you've heard a coach or fellow athlete cue you to "drive your knees out" while squatting.  This critique has spread through the fitness circles like wildfire, and I am one of those that promoted and preached this until the cows came home.  But now, we must revisit this topic and reflect on when to use this cue and when to avoid it.

As I was watching a fellow TCS coach perform 5 x 5 Back Squats this morning, it dawned on me that, like most things, too much of a good thing can turn bad.  In this case --- driving knees waaaaay out to "create an active squat and produce more stability and power."

Here's the problem as I see it.  Coaches have been jamming the idea of "knees out" down their athletes throats so consistently that the athletes have begun to overdo it....even to a point of weakening their squat and/or causing injury to occur.

By driving the knees out too far, you are putting yourself in a compromised and weakened position.  This won't become evident until you hit the bottom of your squat and begin the initiation of the concentric (up) phase.  Here is where you will notice your knees collapsing matter how hard you try to "drive them out".  Why is that?


Scenario A.
The athlete is truly weak and has not developed the hip stability and strength to perform a proper loaded squat.  -- In this case, auxiliary exercises should be utilized in order to build strength and stability in the hip, low back and legs.  

Scenario B.  
The athlete is well-developed and plenty strong enough to move the weight efficiently.  -- This is the OTHER side of the story, as we've been discussing it.  If this athlete is in fact strong enough, then why are his or her knees collapsing inward?  The answer is a lack of stability due to excessive external rotation at the hip (read: Knee outage. Ha!) 

Think about it.  Going too far will only stretch the adductors and hamstrings more and more until this tension overwhelms the stability at the hip and knee.  The body then makes the necessary adjustment to correct the excessive ext. rot. by allowing the knees to come back to a strong, stable position so that the load may be successfully moved.

So, you see, not every person that steps under the bar needs to hear you yelling and screaming "KNEES OUT!"  Some of your athletes simply need to understand that they are to drive the knees out to a point of stability, and not one inch further.  Staying in this active groove will create some big squats and keep your athlete off of the injured list.


This concept may be flying right over your head because 1. This biomechanics lesson is too deep for you, which is perfectly OK.  Or, 2. I have done a shitty job explaining my observations, which is also very likely.  In either case, I will provide a video detailing both Scenario A and B from above tomorrow so as to hopefully clear this up and get you moving better!  Until tomorrow.