Gray Cook: Stability vs Mobility

Got enough mobility? . . . Unable to put it to use? Static and dynamic holds are where you pick up the stability you want and need.

How much time do you dedicate to flexibility?

Your shoulders, your thoracic spine, your hips: you’ve got 3s on shoulder mobility and 3s on the leg raise.

Now, let me ask you something. If you have that kind of God-given mobility or acquired mobility, why isn’t the rest of your screen that impressive?

Is it a flexibility problem or a stability problem?

First of all, there’s not a problem up here but what I’m saying is that the way you look to me, you’ve got far more mobility than you can express in functional patterns.

As long as you’re lying on your back or as long as you’re standing unloaded, you can show me huge amounts of flexibility but if we ask you to Deep Squat, Hurdle Step, Lunge or we ask you to plank, Push Up, Rotary Stability, you sort of drop back a little bit.

Getting ready for StrongFirst, you’ve got to do some lifts but for your main work, I’d be doing a lot of carries.

Dan John and I talked about it. With you, I would probably start with a 16k and I would just start walking. When you can’t hold it in an overhead position with integrity, you bring it to racked and just keep on walking. When you can’t hold it racked, you take it to suitcase and keep on walking. Then, you switch arms and repeat.

Twelve minutes from now, you can set your kettlebell down but what that’s going to do is train your stabilizers to keep your back, your pelvis, your shoulders—everything—connected while you’re doing a snatch test, while you’re doing a deadlift or while you’re doing a Turkish getup.

Right now, you don’t have enough en­ergy to do all your lifts and all these supple­ments. You can go right into a lot of carries and get a lot more of that stabilization. Those carries will probably pick up your movement screen a couple of points.

Many of the moves you’re doing in StrongFirst, if you go into them with just a little bit of tightness or poor stability, your work capacity goes through the roof. But your work is not good. You’re going to get smoked long before you accomplish some­thing.

One of the counter-intuitive things that people don’t do is they don’t do enough car­ries. Most people don’t do enough swings either so don’t just do swings. Do swings like Pavel is standing behind you. You won’t be doing as many swings but the ones you will be doing will have a lot of integrity. Right there, that is a ripe movement screen. Just to do a bunch of farmer’s carries.

Static and dynamic holds are where you pick up stability. You don’t have to micro-manage the rotator cuff and micro-manage the core and everything. It all gets hit in carries. If I set you up with 75% of your bodyweight split into each hand and you can’t carry that for a minute and a half, that is your problem. We’d find it with the FCS (Fundamental Capacity Screen).

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