FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSYour go to guide for everything Stick Mobility
What is Stick Mobility?
Stick Mobility is a system that uses a stick, and Sherrington’s Law of Irradiation, to access greater ranges of motion and enhance neuromuscular awareness. Sherrington’s Law of Irradiation says when a muscle contracts with enough force, it can recruit nearby muscles to do work as well. This simultaneous contraction of multiple muscles at once in a movement chain can amplify your total strength levels for a given lift.
One of the best examples of this – The Turkish Get Up. If you crush the grip as hard as you can on the bell, you can create a more stable platform at the shoulder joint giving you more control over the weight. Lighten your grip, and it seems like the load gets heavier and the shoulder less stable.
This is what makes Stick Mobility so effective. It is essentially a total body pedal to the floor board “positional plank” that allows you to lay down a much stronger movement foundation in a 3D plane. Since we are supposed to support ourselves over own base of support as we move, this is a pretty good thing.
This is also a great way to prime the pump for other lifts as well. You can clean up plank based movements (pushups, suspension trainer rows, etc) quite a bit with the right Stick Mobility move prior to performing the exercise.
Stick Mobility is intended to help users increase their fitness, strength, mobility, muscle activation, movement and range of motion. It can also lead to faster rehabilitation due to injury. The stick is used in conjunction with classes and exercises that utilize the flexibility and strength of the rod to propel your body into peak fitness.
How does it help?
Stick Mobility helps to increase your functional range of motion, improves posture, increases stability, enhances body awareness, and improves full body strength. Remember, our bodies only let us produce the amount of power our joint stability allows. Want to prevent shooting a canon from a canoe? Stick Mobility can help with that. From an athletic standpoint this is critical because improved performance is all about doing more work in less time. To move our best, we need power and lots of it. The more stable we are, the more power we can produce and the better we move.
The Stick Mobility approach has its emphasis on dialing in our diagonal loading patterns. Especially since our rotational patterns of running, walking and skipping (great exercise!) are incredibly dependent on the diagonal connections of the hips and opposite shoulder.
What are the core principles behind the system?
The mechanical advantage gained by using a lever (Mobility Stick). Allows for a greater range of motion to make it easier to overcome the body’s resistance to bend.
The quality of being stable. The ability to hold a position and resist internal or external forces. The Mobility Stick gives you an aid to help create stability in the joints and gives a strong base of support.
The Mobility Stick gives us visual and kinesthetic feedback to enhance learning and body awareness. Visual feedback amplified the movements and targets problem areas. Kinesthetic feedback creates awareness and activation of different muscles, fascial lines, and senses joint position and spatial awareness.
The Mobility Stick increases irradiation by driving the sticks into the ground, ceiling or wall and squeezing to activate grip and trunk power. This allows us to give more input to the nervous system and make changes faster.
Sherrington’s Law of Irradiation:
“A muscle working hard recruits the neighboring muscles, and if they are already part of the action, it amplifies its strength. The neural impulses emitted by the contracting muscle reach other muscles and turn them on as an electric current starts a motor.”
There are three types of isometric contractions. When you apply all three, you can obtain significant increases in neural drive, muscle fiber recruitment, and rate of production. They include static contraction, yielding contraction, and overcoming contraction.
The harmonious functioning of the motor apparatus of the brain and particular groups of muscles for the execution of movements. Using the stick enhances the neural feedback from the hands to the brain. The stick, in conjunction with positional isometrics, can aid in activation of muscles involved in movements.
Why can’t people just stretch to get more mobile?
Stick Mobility uses the following formula: joint range of motion (articulation) + joint stability + neuromuscular drive = mobility. Stretching by itself lacks these crucial elements. We know that our muscles get tight for a reason and no matter how much you stretch, without the right strength levels, they won’t let go. This is typically caused by weakness in one area causing tension in another.
Tighten the hip flexors (like you do when you sit down all day), and your hamstrings will become overactive when you extend the hip. This is not a good thing because it makes you more susceptible to injury. Unfortunately, I’ve learned this first hand when a weak left glute led to a left hamstring pull during a sprint.
The neuromuscular drive benefits from Stick Mobility come as your body is better able to coordinate your muscles as one unified mechanism to produce movement. The better balanced our muscles are, the better they can coordinate our kinetic chain. With that said, its gets pretty easy to see how Stick Mobility helps with performance improvement and injury prevention.
Will there be a certification? Can trainers get CPD points?
We are excited to offer our Level 1 Stick Mobility Certification to all health practitioners. you’ll receive 15 hours CPD for the two day course we offer. This is a system that is self regulated, effective, and practical. You can use Stick Mobility as a complement to any modality you choose or Stick Mobility can be a stand alone program. Our goal and Motto is “Movement Made Better”
How has Stick Mobility gained traction as fast as it has?
Social media has been a huge benefit for people/companies who want to show what they can do. Our quick growth wouldn’t have been possible without it. Seeing people using sticks and doing ‘odd’ stretches and poses with them capture the attention. Once, you’ve been exposed to it’s benefits and how it feels, you are sold.
The system speaks for itself.
Who is using Stick Mobility?
Everyone. PGA Golfer, Paul Casey, has implemented our system with his personal trainer to increase his flexibility and rotation. In the US our system is in use by professional sporting teams and professional football players, pro golfers, pro baseball players, wheelchair athletes, world class power lifters, and desk jockeys. Our system has been effective for all ages and fitness levels. Our class is pretty diverse and is comprised of people across all fitness levels and movement skill. The common thread post class? Not only did everyone have fun, they walked out of the gym moving and feeling better than when they walked in.
“The Cincinnati Bengal’s S&C Coach, Chip Morton, is always looking for ways to improve his player’s health and abilities. He caught onto us about one month after we started hitting social media. We met with him and some of his staff in December while they were in San Jose to play the 49’ers. They loved what our system brings to the table. One of the biggest aspects were the intrinsic foot strengthening drills that we teach. He stated that the players are expected to produce power and explosiveness, yet have sacks of mashed potatoes at the end of their legs. The joint mobilization/warm up was ‘Gold’ just by itself.”
“The Baltimore Orioles started following us on social media. There are many professional S&C coaches who are always looking for new tools and systems for their players. Stick Mobility Co-Founder, Mitch Taylor, has an extensive baseball background and has instituted a protocol for baseball players.”
What size stick do I need?
We recommend purchasing a bundle. The shorter sticks are great for wrist warm-ups and core excersises while the longer sticks allow for more deep stretching. The general guidelines for fitment is if you are over 5’10” you will need to get the 7 foot and 5 foot sticks. If you are under 5’10” the 6 foot and 4 foot sticks will fit you the best. Now there are special cases if you have long arms or short arms. Adjust accordingly and feel free to contact us if you have questions.
Why do I need more than 1 stick
The use for more than one stick is both a regressionary or progressionary aspect of our system. Stability work can be challenging for some people, two sticks allow for that added stability so that the body and the central nervous system can learn to adapt to the new stimulus. Some exercises and stretches test contralateral and ipsilateral patterns which require the use of more than one stick. Multi-directional stretching is a facet of Stick Mobility. Some moves involve rotating the trunk in the transverse plane and pushing the arms in opposite directions to allow for optimal range of motion. Stretches and movements may also involve hanging, twisting, pushing, and pulling in opposing directions to reach maximal ranges. The double ‘Monkey Hang’ is a perfect example of why two sticks can be more beneficial than one in some cases.
I’m pretty big – how strong are these sticks?
The sticks are designed to follow the moves you will see in our training video. When used in this manner the sticks can support you and are quite flexible. Professional athletes and people over 6’4″ that weigh 250+ might benefit from trying our Pro Model. We have Pro Models available in 6 foot, 7 foot and 8 foot increments.
What are these sticks made from?
Stick Mobility uses a proprietary blend of extruded materials to achieve the perfect balance of flexibility and strength. It also has additives that give it UV protection. It would be best not to leave your stick in hot cars this can affect the material and can cause bending if used while or right after extreme temperatures. Although it may be fixable it’s best not to go there in the first place. We our proud of our proprietary blend it is strong, flexible and they look cool too!