HMMR Podcast Episode 240: The mobility man (with Kelly Starrett)

When it comes to mobility, Kelly Starrett is the man. The topic was almost taboo when he starting teaching the CrossFit community about it. Now he’s working with elite athletes and teams in nearly every sport around the world. On this week’s podcast he joins us to talk about how we need to reframe the conversation around mobility and rethink youth development.

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Notes and quotes

Kelly Starrett, DPT began his athletic career as a world championship competitor in whitewater slalom canoe. After founding San Francisco CrossFit in 2005, he and his wife launched Mobility WOD (now named The Ready State) in 2008, which has changed the way people think about performance therapy and self-care. He is the author several books, including the bestselling book Becoming a Supple Leopard.

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:00 – Defining mobility: “Now mobility has become like the word core, bastardized . . . But your ability to express and control that range of motion is a dynamic living document that changes a little bit every day. There wasn’t a word for that then.”
  • 10:30 – Modifying classic lifts to improve mobility.
  • 12:10 – Building connections and getting beyond Gumby.
  • 14:30 – Bosch and teaching to the highest expression of the movement: “We always teach to the highest expression of the movement. We want our athletes to have the most movement choice.”
  • 17:30 – Getting athletes to value the “extra” work: “We’re in the gym not just to express physiology but to challenge the robustness of positions. My hypothesis is that you have access to this position, and then you maintain the position when it gets heavy or gets fast.”
  • 21:00 – Finding a way to train no matter what: “The first order of business, again, is to get kids under load and to initiate the conversation of training. We’re going to train, no matter what.”
  • 25:00 – Humbling athletes.
  • 27:30 – The lost opportunity for kids: “Our kids haven’t been exposed to training, so then we don’t have benchmarks or baselines. We don’t even have a language.”
  • 30:15 – Linking mobility to performance.
  • 34:15 – Where to start with youth athletes: “Touch anywhere to begin. You can begin to improve a kid’s sport experience and durability anywhere. Even if every kid on the planet could just swing a kettlebell, how much easier that kid would be to teach any other?”
  • 39:45 – Examples from Nick on where to start: “I’m a big believer in that kids rise to your expectation, so if you expect him to do something class they’re going to figure out how to do it.”
  • 42:15 – Year-round exposure. Turf impact on injuries. Exposure and expectation. “Are there surfaces better or worse? Yes, but why have we become so fragile to exposure. If you’re only exposed to the turf during this window of the year that’s going to be a problem for you.” “The gym suddenly has become a place where I have to train every rotational angle. But some point you need to get out of the gym.”
  • 49:00 – Importance of high school strength and conditioning.
  • 51:15 – The loss of springiness.

To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.

Further reading