Mobility RX

mobilityrxMobility RX is Mark Lauren’s newest body weight training workout. The tag for it is “Dynamic flexibility. Postural strength. Move with ease. Live pain free.” What does that mean for these workouts? First, they are different from his others that I have done, but no less challenging. I would equate them to painful physical therapy. The exercises seem to be a combination of strength, flexibility and range of motion. For some of the exercises my body felt like it was being stretch and rotated unnaturally. It was sometimes uncomfortable and painful. None of this a criticism. I do not think it is an unsafe workout. In fact, doing these workouts made me feel like it was highlighting my deficiencies. So I think these are important and necessary workouts; however, as with any workout, listen to your body while doing it. The challenge (for me) will be being able to stretch and rotate further each time I do them and for the exercises to become less uncomfortable. With both workouts I suffered DOMS afterward.

How are they meant to be used? Mark recommends alternating them 6 days a week or using them as an active recovery workout between more intense training days. That is how I will use them–as an active recovery or as doubles workouts. There is a 2 minute intro in which Mark explains the basics of the workouts. Each workout consists of 4 exercises done back to back. You will not do a lot of reps of any of the exercises (5). You will do 3 rounds of these 4 exercises. Each round the exercises change slightly.

The DVD case states it contains a 10 minute movement preparation and two 25 minute workouts. The 10 minute movement preparation is actually a much needed warm up and the workouts are longer than 25 minutes. He focuses on form just like he does in EFX. At the beginning of the workouts he demonstrates each exercise so that you can execute every rep properly. And just like in EFX, you are also shown a diagram of the body that indicates what muscle groups are worked by each exercise, what function and movement each exercise helps with.

Unlike Mark’s other workouts, this one isn’t as well edited and there seems to be a issue with the video quality. The program quality and Mark’s delivery as a trainer were not lacking at all, but the editing of this video is kind of shoddy. Just an FYI; it doesn’t hinder your ability to do the workouts, it’s just noticeable that it’s not up to par with his others.

Warm up is 10 minutes: 1. Lay on back with arms extended to sides (like a T) and knees bent; rotate knees side to side, touching them to the ground. 2. Get on all 4s; circle bent leg out to side (hydrant hip joint rotations). 3. Lay on side with knees bent and together, arms straight in front of you and together (sort of fetus position); open top arm all the way until it is touching the floor behind you, twisting spine and shoulder. 4. Lay on back with knees bent, bring one knee in to chest and do one leg bridges. 5. Get into lunge position with back knee on ground and arms straight overhead; twist torso toward front leg. 6. Slow, deep squats. 7. Get back into lunge position with knee on ground and arms straight overhead; reach hand (same side as front leg) toward ground, trying to touch fingertips to the ground.

Workout 1 is 34 minutes total; 4:30 minutes of that is exercise description; so the actual workout time is 29:30; add on the warm up and total time is 44 minutes. The workout begins with the exercise overview that details the 4 exercises. It shows you the body and muscle groups worked by the exercise; it also has the voice over that explains the purpose of the exercise and how it increases mobility. You need a mat and a wall (or “supporting structure”) for this workout. Each round is approximately 10 minutes and you do 5 reps of each exercise. For round one you do the exercises as he demonstrated them in the overview. Since the changes to each exercise in subsequent rounds is slight, he explains it during the first rep of the exercise. I have to say, I really felt the first two exercises every time they were done. The stretch/range of motion felt almost severe at times. This is what I was referring to above–that some of these exercises seem to be highlighting my weaknesses. Of course, it is not necessary that you try to do the exercise exactly like Mark (though he does not show modifications); you can reduce your range of motion if you are finding it too painful. But I was trying to get the most out of the workout and well, it got uncomfortable at times. The next day my lats (the entire back side of my body from arm pit to waist) were very sore and my lower body was mildly sore. So it was definitely hitting something in a new way! Exercises: 1. Side Lying Snow Angel: lay on right side with left knee bent in front of you and right knee out straight; press your left knee into your right wrist, left hand behind head; rotate shoulder bringing left elbow to touch the floor on either side of your head (for each round the arm placement and movement changes, rotating the shoulder in a different ways).  2 Isometric Lunge (you need the wall for this): this exercise takes some positioning before you can even get started; get on hands and knees then get knees as close to the wall as possible, bringing one leg up so shin and top of foot are against the wall (knee still on floor), then bring the other out into a lunge; bring both hands overhead into “streamline” position and press your leg into the supporting structure. For round two you will twist your torso toward the side with the leg in front of you (the one in lunge position) and for the third round instead of twisting toward that side of the body you will reach the arm on that side of the body, trying to touch the ground with your fingertips. 3. Zombie Squats: low squats with staggered foot placement; for each round your feet get closer together (but still staggered; so it goes from wide to narrow). 4. Scorpion Complex: this is a scorpion plank but each round it progresses, becoming more advanced until in the 3rd round you are doing the full scorpion plank.

Workout 2 is 27 minutes total; 3:30 minutes of that is exercise description so the actual workout is 23:30 minutes; add on the warm up and total time is 37 minutes. Just like in Workout #1, Workout #2 begins with the exercise overview that details the 4 exercises. It shows you the body and muscle groups worked by the exercise; it also has the voice over that explains the purpose of the exercise and how it increases mobility. You do each exercise back to back for 5 reps; you do this for 3 rounds and each round is approximately 8 minutes. For round one you do the exercises as he demonstrated them in the overview. Since the changes to each exercise in subsequent rounds is slight, he explains it during the first rep of the exercise. Just like in Workout 1, some of these exercises were painful! This one really hit the hips hard. I suspect I will have some serious soreness in my hips tomorrow (I did–my hip joints were sore). Form, as always, is paramount to get the most from these exercise, but it is difficult (Exercise 1 Seated Roll especially was challenging to do every rep with perfect form–so lots of mental focus goes into it too). The whole point is to increase your range of motion and well, mine is lacking more than I expected. So these workouts, if done regularly, will do a lot to improve movement and flexibility. Exercises: 1. Seated Roll: sit on your bottom with your feet on the ground in front of you about shoulder width apart and knees pointed at the ceiling; roll to the left, bringing your knees down to the ground (this works your hips), then raise arms overhead; roll to the right again bringing knees to ground and raise arms overhead. That is one rep; for each round your hand position will change, but the lower body placement and rotation remains the same. 2. Straddle Reach: still on your bottom, open your legs wide, toes pointing toward the ceiling; raise arms overhead then reach the opposite hand to the outside of foot then raise arms overhead; do the same thing on the other side. That is one rep. For the second round you will add a twist to the right and to the left (with arms overhead) between each reach and for the third round you will point your toes. 3. Spider Crawl: sit on ankles and lay chest on thighs, head on ground, hands in front of you (similar to child’s pose); crawl right hand out as far as you can while keeping hips/chest/head down then press hand and armpit into the ground; repeat on left side. This is one rep. For the second round, when pressing your arm down, your opposite hand is behind your hand with elbow raised (head still on ground, chest/hips still pressed down). For the third round both arms will be in front of you as in round one, but after crawling your hand out, you turn the hand so palm is facing upward, lock the elbow and raise the arm and hold (head still on ground). 4. Gate Swing Complex: this is a balance move. Get into the bottom of a lunge, one knee on floor and one leg in front of you; stand up (arms are in front of you so you do not use upper body at all) bring back leg forward and bent in front of you (the foot never touches the ground), knee as high as you can, then open that leg to the side, keeping hips and torso straight; bring knee back to front, lower the foot and cross it over, tapping the ground to the outside of the stationary leg, then lower back into low lunge with knee on ground. That is one rep. For each round your arm position changes but lower body movements remain exactly the same.

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