Amidst the exhilarating energy of the NFL season, let’s take a moment to pay homage to the defining moments that have shaped Stick Mobility since its inception. As the season unfolds, we reflect on the deep-rooted connection that ties us to the National Football League.
Grounded in humble beginnings, the company’s initial scope was in the San Francisco Bay Area, supporting local clientele. Stick Mobility was primarily focused on small groups and personal training, and wasn’t being thought of for “train the trainer” professional education…yet!
Things changed when a social media post drew the attention of Chip Morton, who, at the time, was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. He reached out to meet with the Stick Mobility team while the Bengals were in town playing the San Francisco 49ers. After spending a couple of hours in an enlightening discussion and hands-on demo, he saw how The Training Sticks were instrumental tools to improve range of motion, muscle activation, full-body strength and body awareness, and posed a pivotal question: "Do you offer a professional education course? If so, let’s get my team trained up!"
This propelled the creation of an intensive, two-day, Level 1 Professional Education Course. The goal was to teach our methods, focusing on enhancing flexibility, strength, and coordination through three phases: joint mobilization, strength training and active stretching. Our first, Level 1 Course ran in the Bay Area as a trial, and it exceeded expectations, drawing professionals and enthusiasts from far and wide, including attendees from South Korea. This proof of concept was just the beginning.
We hit a milestone when we ran the course for the Bengals coaching team and staff in Cincinnati, Ohio, showcasing the profound impact of our integrated training modality. The simplicity of our product coupled with the programming revealed unique functional fitness and performance benefits, leaving a lasting impression, and marking it a resounding success.
Since our inaugural course, we've educated thousands of trainers, coaches, group instructors, practitioners and fitness enthusiasts internationally. Our digital and in-person courses consistently receive excellent reviews. While online courses have seen more participation due to their accessibility, the value of in-person sessions, facilitated by our co-founders and approved Master Instructor cadre, remains unparalleled.
From a training perspective, incorporating exercises like isometric stretching, enhances active range of motion, reduces injury risks and optimizes performance. Building a foundation of intrinsic strength and functional movement patterns enables individuals to adapt to their sports' demands, enhancing both performance and longevity.
Here’s a high-level overview of our training system and sample respective movements:
Joint mobilizations are the foundational key to optimal movement quality. When a joint doesn’t have an ability to move through all three planes of motion well then compensations and/or the inability to handle internal and external loads can occur which can result in injury. Too often we try to increase the capacity of a joint without discovering if the joint can move appropriately. Joints need to understand their function before we start increasing their capacity to handle loaded movements and deeper ranges of motion.
The Monkey Hang is a mobility exercise that targets and stretches the hip flexors, opens up the chest, rib cage and lat muscles, stretches the quads and opens up all the tissues on the anterior chain.
Set Up: Tall standing. Feet are hip width apart. Place the sticks at 11 and 1 o’clock and approximately 10-12 inches in front of the toes. Place your hands in a rope grip position at the top of the sticks.
Instructions: Take weight onto the arms by dropping your body weight towards the floor. Keep your weight on your arms while you rotate the arms, side to side. Perform five reps of each movement.
We use isometrics which involves the unweighted resistance of muscle groups through contractions (tensing) of the muscles. This allows you to safely focus on creating internal tension to increase full-body strength and improve your ability to handle external weighted loads.
This drill will help strengthen your intrinsic hip muscles in multiple positions and give you more independent control over your legs without compensation from the rest of your body. Practicing this drill often will develop better hip control, increase internal and external hip rotation, and strengthen the hip capsule, core, triceps, lats, and grip. It’s harder than it looks!
Set Up: Two long sticks and a tall standing position. Sticks are at 11 and 1 o’clock with hands chest level.
1: Push the sticks into the floor at 50% pressure. Bring one leg about 4-5 inches off the floor (low position). Slowly begin to internally and externally rotate the femur. The foot will tap one stick and then the other. Do not allow the femur to shift. Perform 3-5 reps of each. Change the femur to mid and high positions and repeat.
2: External rotation taps and pushes should be with the arch of the foot, not the sole of the foot.
Our stretches are active rather than traditional passive stretches, so we’re always pulling or pushing on the sticks or the floor to ensure we bring neuromuscular control and stability to your end range positions.
The Slap Shot stretches your chest, shoulders, rib cage, oblique line, arm line, adductors, hamstrings, and teaches scapular retraction, hip hinging, rotation, and lateral shifting.
Set Up: Using a single long Training Stick and in a tall standing position with an extra wide stance, place the stick across the low back and parallel to the floor.
1: Keeping the stick against the low back, push your butt back by hinging at the hips.
2: While keeping the legs and hips stationary, rotate one end of the stick and torso towards the ground.
3: When you reach your end range of motion, place the end of the stick on the ground. Hold this position for 6-10 seconds. Pull apart on the stick at 30% effort to increase tension.
4: Perform 2-3 lunges per side for 6-10 seconds each shifting from one leg to the other. Repeat with the other hand down.
Regression options: Changing the lever length on either side of the stick or using an elevated platform to rest the end of the stick on to effectively lengthen the stick.
Our heartfelt gratitude extends to Chip Morton and all those who championed our cause. Their support accelerated our journey forward. Stick Mobility fervently anticipates empowering countless more globally. Our mission is to educate and assist individuals in their performance and self-care journeys, enabling everyone to move and feel better.