The Great 8 mobilization-stretches are the foundation for your overall mobility and for all stretch movements and programs in the Stretch to Win system. This is true no matter what sport, athletic or fitness activity you engage in. The Great 8 (see figure below) are divided into the Core 4 of the lower body and the Core 4 of the upper body.
Training the core of the body as the basis of stability before training mobility is well-established in sports, fitness, and rehabilitation. We take this a step further by advancing what may be a new concept for many. Achieving balanced mobility in the core regions of the body before training for stability will provide results that are more effective.
Here is an example: If your hip flexors are tighter on the right side, which creates torque (or twist) in the right side of your pelvis, then you will be training your core with an existing imbalance. Although you may be coordinated and athletic enough to properly stabilize your pelvis and do the core training (and possibly fool your therapist or trainer), you will be using extra energy and other compensations to accommodate your imbalance. Eventually, this will take its toll on you and create chronic problems and eventual injury if left unresolved. This is a common example of why we advise always using the Great 8 as the foundation for all your mobility and corrective movement training.
In my next blog, I will begin detailed instructional videos of each of The Great 8 mobility stretches, so you can really start to feel the difference in your performance or just in your body.
By Chris Frederick, PT
Co-author of “Stretch to Win” 2nd edition
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