In order to improve at CrossFit, you must include a focus on mobility and flexibility. Understanding the distinction between flexibility and mobility in relation to range of motion is important when talking about CrossFit stretches for training. When you sit down and extend forward to touch your toes, you are demonstrating passive flexibility of your joint. When you actively move a joint, such as when you kick your leg as high as it will go in front of your body, you are demonstrating mobility.
The below CrossFit stretches aim to lessen the amount of reserve that your nervous system permits when you are moving or carrying a big weight. This is integral as it allows you to be more “efficient” when moving heavy loads, or doing complex movements. The more “efficient” you become with movements, the less difficult that workouts will become!
4 Different Types Of Stretches For CrossFit
In CrossFit training, many stretching techniques are used. They are listed as follows by CrossFit:
1. Static Stretching - Best for Post WOD
This kind of stretching improves range of motion when used as a recovery technique.
2. Dynamic Stretching - Best for Pre WOD
Dynamic stretching, which involves moving a joint through its range of motion without using much weight or deep stretching action, is best for warm-ups.
3. Joint Rotations - Best as Daily accessories
You perform these stretches on a daily basis; they are similar to dynamic stretches in that you go through the whole range of motion.
4. PNF - Best for stability
In proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, you are moved to your full range of motion by a partner or object, then you are asked to resist for a while before relaxing into a deeper stretch. As you get closer to the end of your range of motion—which, according to the CrossFit Journal, is essential for your functional movements—you employ loaded stretching and PNF to strengthen yourself. It is simpler to dive deeper into such positions and maximize their advantages when a functional movement is finished with more strength.
10 Stretches To Improve Your CrossFit Mobility
#1 - Frog Stretch
This stretch does wonders to loosen up the hip flexors and adductors. Slow down and begin the stretch gently:
Start by bending your knees as far apart as you can comfortably while on your hands and knees.
In that condition, gently and slowly rock back and forth. Keep your feet flat on the ground with your toes pointing outward.
Move your body forward while squeezing your knees together as you bounce backward. You can recline into the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds after 3 or 4 repetitions.
#2 - Pigeon Stretch
This stretch will help to relax your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and hips:
You can maintain your back knee bent or extended while bending your front knee to a 90-degree angle. Decide on your most comfortable position.
While maintaining your chest up, rock back and forth to enhance the hip stretch.
Stretch each muscle for 25 to 50 seconds, then do it again on each side.
#3 - Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
This dynamic stretch will aid in hip, hamstring, and quad opening up:
In the lunge stance, rock forward before turning your body to the side of your forward leg.
Upon each rep, you'll experience your hip flexor loosen up as you spin.
Returning to your beginning posture while rocking, point your toe upward and flex your hamstrings.
Do 3–4 sets of 12 repetitions on each side.
#4 - Foot Circles With Toes Flexed
This stretch will assist with ankle mobility.
Gently curl your toes since if you don't your foot might cramp:
Make slow, controlled circles with your foot in one direction, then change directions.
To avoid cramping, wait 10 to 20 seconds between direction changes.
Do 2-3 sets of 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions in each direction per foot.
#5 - Calf Raises
This stretch does wonders to increase ankle, achilles & calf flexibility. Very important before doing box jumps and/or double unders.
If you want to do this on a step, squat until you feel a stretch, then press through the balls of your feet to pull the heel up. Never bounce; always move with control.
Focus on raising the heels as high as you can and then bringing them back to the ground gently if you're performing them from the ground.
Try it while standing straight up and bending your knees just a little.
3 sets of 8–12 repetitions are required.
#6 - Backward Facing Wrist Flexor Stretch
This exercise is a wonderful place to start since it eases tight wrists and forearms that might develop from prolonged computer use or if your profession requires you to use your hands a lot:
Start by bringing your fingers closer to your knees since it is simpler to do so than to do it further away.
When you feel a tiny stretch in your wrists or forearms, rock your body back toward your heels while keeping your palms flat on the floor.
Repeat between 10 and 30 times.
Try rotating your wrists one hand at a time if you are unable to do so fully. You may also simply go slowly and cautiously while working at the level that suits you.
#7 - Quadruped Shoulder Circles AKA “Scapular Push-Ups”
This movement is excellent for allowing the shoulders to loosen up and for promoting some upper back activation, both of which are important for any overhead motions:
Start by placing your hands and knees directly below your shoulders and hips, respectively.
You should then shrug your shoulders in a circle, moving them upward toward your ears, backward toward your hips, downward away from your ears, and finally forward toward your head.
These rounds should be made in both shoulders.
Make 5 circles in one direction, then 5 more in the opposite way.
#8 - Tall Kneeling Arm Raises
Your hips will be active throughout this exercise, and your shoulders will also feel tension:
Start by crouching down and placing your feet under your butt.
Try to lift your arms straight above your head. Focus on keeping a neutral spine, keeping your core tight.
You will finish the pose with your arms straight up. In that last posture, open out your shoulders while being careful not to arch your back.
Five times through this stretch, hold each repetition for 15 to 30 seconds.
#9 - Clasped Hands Extension
This stretch can help to free up your shoulders and correct the rounded posture that comes with prolonged sitting and pressing:
Sit down in the beginning. Lie down in a position that is comfortable for you. If a chair or bench doesn't have a back, you can sit in it.`
With your elbows straight, lock your hands around your back. Raise your hands back and away from your body as you sit tall. As you enter the stretch, try to push your shoulder blades together.
Hold the last stretch for 15 to 30 seconds after performing the stretch five times.
#10 - Quadruped Torso Rotation
Many people experience limitations due to spinal (thoracic) rotation, thus this exercise will help you loosen up your back and increase your thoracic mobility:
Start by placing your hands, elbows, and knees directly beneath your shoulders.
Next, position one arm below your midline and place the opposing hand on your lower back.
Attempt to glance up toward the ceiling as you twist your body toward that elbow. As you perform this stretch, use your other hand to stabilize your body.
Ten times through this stretch, hold for 30 to 60 seconds on the last rep, and then switch to the other side. For each side, repeat three times.
Stretching is important for healing, just as mobility and flexibility are important for fitness. To expand your range of motion and strength close to the maximum stretch, think about including more stretching of all sorts, but particularly loaded stretching exercises as they are extremely beneficial for ensuring you can lift weights effectively.