By Brian Diaz
Most of the exercises in this column that I cover are directed towards strengthening and stabilizing the body in patterns that are most used in endurance activities and races. One of the most often overlooked areas in a workout plan is mobility. Mobilization of the joints, spinal and extremities, and maximization of soft tissue elasticity to allow this movement are integral in achieving optimal performance.
One of the exercises I often use on the suspension trainer is the Romanian Deadlift type motion, known as a RDL. In a narrow stance facing the TRX until and standing back from the anchor point a bit, place the palms down in the handles, pushing them out and into the floor while the body flexes at the waist and you try and keep your back straight or slightly arched into extension. Pause slightly at the end range to give a good stretch in hamstrings and across pelvis before returning to standing.
Another variation to this move is to alternate one leg at a time while the opposite leg extends straight back. Once you return to the starting position, reset with both feet down before doing the same movement on the other leg.
Many endurance athletes lack posterior mobility and these movement help address that limitation. Both of these variants are designed to mobilize the hips, pelvis, and lumbar spine as well as offering a gentle stretch across the back of the knee, hip extensors, and lumbar spine muscles.
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Brian Diaz is the head physical therapist and sports specialist at ActivEdge Fitness & Sports Performance. He is a Level II Certified TRX Suspension Trainer and a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. Follow him on Twitter (@JediTriathlete) or go to his website at ExperienceTheEdge.com for more exercise ideas.