Being able to move the limbs freely in space is a crucial aspect of being an athlete. So many sports need athletes to be able to do all sorts of twists and turns in the blink of an eye. In the sport of throwing, having this ability is what separates the top performers from the rest. Many of the top athletes are very mobile. Mobility work is a part of their preparation for training and competing at the highest level. Today, I want to discuss one of the easiest ways throwers can implement mobility into their training!
What is Mobility, and Why is it Important?
Mobility is the ability to move joints through large ranges of motion per the demands of some particular motor task.
Having the ability to move through desired ranges of motion is very advantageous in the sport of throwing, as it allows for greater transfers of energy. For example, catching the discus or shot put deep in the power position will create a longer path of travel for the implement, creating acceleration, which then leads to MONSTER tosses.
So What's An Easy Way to Implement?
One of the easiest ways to implement mobility for throwers is through hurdle mobility. The majority of track and field programs have hurdles, as it is a necessity for running events so that throwers can use those hurdles to work on mobility.
Hurdle mobility exercises are mobility development exercises that use hurdles to provide the exercise environment. The hurdles force the joints to move through large ranges of motion, benefiting high-performance levels. The hurdle serves to challenge the athlete's range of motion and also supply technical demand through various positions and heights.
Hurdle Mobility's Importance:
1. Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion:
Hurdle mobility exercises promote flexibility in the hips, knees, and ankles, enhancing the thrower's overall range of motion. This increased flexibility is essential for executing the various movements involved in throwing events.
2. Enhanced Coordination and Body Awareness:
Hurdle drills require precise coordination and body awareness. These skills are transferable to the complex movements of throwing events, helping throwers achieve better control over their bodies during the dynamic phases of the throw.
3. Strengthening Core Muscles:
Hurdle mobility exercises engage the core muscles, including the abdominal and lower back muscles. A strong core is vital for stability and power generation, both of which are critical elements in throwing events.
4. Injury Prevention:
Hurdle mobility training contributes to injury prevention by addressing muscle imbalances and promoting joint stability. By improving flexibility and strengthening key muscle groups, throwers reduce the risk of overuse injuries and enhance their overall durability.
5. Optimized Technique:
Proper technique is paramount in throwing events. Hurdle mobility drills help throwers develop the biomechanical efficiency needed to execute optimal throwing techniques. This includes a smooth transfer of energy from the lower body to the upper body, maximizing power generation.
6. Increased Agility and Quickness:
Hurdle drills often involve rapid and controlled movements, enhancing a thrower's agility and quickness. These qualities are beneficial in the dynamic and explosive nature of throwing events, where athletes need to generate force rapidly.
7. Mental Focus and Discipline:
Performing hurdle mobility exercises requires concentration and discipline. This mental focus can positively impact a thrower's mindset during training and competition, contributing to better overall performance.
What if I Don't Have Hurdles?
No worries, hurdles aren't absolutely necessary to get quality mobility work. There are plenty of mobility exercises that you can do with no equipment. We have some more blogs that provide mobility exercises that don't require equipment. I recommend checking those out. For the sake of the conversation, let's assume we have hurdles!
Here are two hurdle mobility workouts. One is a static routine, which is a good starting point. The other is a dynamic routine, which can be a good progression once the static becomes easy!
Alternate Walkovers (Left-Right)
Lateral Walkovers (Left-Right)
Over & Back (Left-Right)
Over & Under (Left-Right)
Dynamic Walkover (Left-Right)
Dynamic Alternate Walkover (Left-Right)
Side Kicks (Left-Right)
Over & Around (Left-Right)
Hurdle mobility is one of the easiest ways throwers can implement mobility work. Implementing a solid routine will not only increase an athlete's range of motion over time but also provide other benefits for high levels of performance. Let us know what hurdle mobility exercises you implement!
FIREMEUP - Sam
"Our aim is to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."
- Dane, Trevor, and Sam