Mobility work is imperative both for WOD recovery, injury prevention, and for advancement in more difficult movements. Here are few positions to help with lower body range of motion. About two minutes per position is ideal, however even if you can only spare 30 seconds here or there, a little is better than none!
Take a long step back into a deep lunge. Keeping the front shin vertical and pushed to the outside.
Method #1: With one hand on the floor and one hand holding the top of the foot in place, stretch the back leg behind you dropping your hips towards the floor, then slightly forward towards the heel of the foot.
Method #2: Drop both of your elbows to the floor, inside of the front foot. Your torso should be parallel to the floor.
Method #3: keeping your torso low to the floor, push away from the raised knee.
Hip opener with raised foot
Step the front foot onto a raised surface. A good height is 20-24 inches. This height could vary depending on the height of the athlete, but will be fairly close to these numbers. Step the plant foot back and away from the box or chair, creating tension in the hips. Pushing the knee slightly outside of the raised foot, drop the hips and push slightly forward towards the heel of the foot.
Two other methods of hip opening in this position are:
1. To rotate your trunk towards the top knee. This will push the knee further outside, creating external rotation with the femur in the hip socket over emphasizing the externally rotated “knees out” position that is optimal for squatting.
2. Is to drop your chest towards the raised surface, then slowly shift away from the raised knee, keeping the chest low. This will push the knee further away from center mass giving a different torque to the hip socket.
The Quad Stretch
Perform this with a chair, couch, sofa, bench, or other raised surface with a back. My personal favorite is to perform this stretch in the corner of a room, between the floor and wall. Place one knee in the seat and let the top of the foot or the “shoelaces” pressed against the back of the chair. Drop the hips and lift the chest, keeping your trunk tight. Do not over-arch your back. Use your hands to brace and push your hips forward or to steady yourself on another chair directly in front of or beside you. With this lifting motion you should feel a stretch throughout your quad (front of leg).
Another variation is to use the floor and wall instead of a chair.
Method #1: Drop your hips and chest towards the floor. You should then feel a stretch throughout the mid to upper quad, and even up into the groin and hip flexor area.
#1 a: To search for different tight spots, rotate toward the raised knee to look over your shoulder.
#1 b: Turn away from the raised knee to look over the opposite shoulder.
Method #2: Drop the hips and lift the torso. You should feel the stretch from mid to lower quad.
Calf and ankle stretch
Find a piece of wall for this stretch. With your knee locked, place the ball of your foot as high as possible on the wall with your heel on the floor. You should feel tension in the calf immediately. Keeping the knee locked out, gently push the hips towards the wall and hold when your foot starts to slip, or your knee begins to bend.
For the ankle stretch, drop your toes about 1/2″ down the wall and drive the knee towards the wall. Again, if your foot slips or it feels as if you’re just bending your toes backward, readjust.