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  • Dr. Chris Beavers PT, DPT

The 3 Most Important Mobility Requirements For CrossFit

The snatch is one of CrossFit’s most difficult movements as it requires a tremendous amount of skill and mobility requirements. 3 major requirements from a mobility stand point especially for overhead lifting like the snatch is the ankles, the thoracic spine, and the shoulder. Here is a few drills to check to see if you pass these tests.


Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobility is critical for maintaining an upright torso in the bottom of the squat. This is why many weightlifters either have heel lifts or weight lifting shoes on because it provides additional ankle mobility for them to stay more upright. If you cannot get your knees over your toes this can set you up for hip, knee, shoulder pain etc and your snatch will look like this.





Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobility Check


With your shoes off, measure 5 inches from the wall or use your fist and attempt to touch your knee to the wall. Be sure not to compensate and let your knee fall in foot collapse in an attempt to reach the wall.

Thoracic spine mobility is another key component for Olympic lifting. Overhead shoulder mobility and thoracic spine mobility go hand in hand. Take a look at the comparison of how impaired my shoulder mobility becomes if I purposely cut my thoracic mobility short.




Thoracic Spine Mobility Check


Heres a great way to measure thoracic mobility. Rock back on your heels place both arms in front on you on your forearms and then place one of them behind your head. You need to be able to rotate at least 50 degrees. This is measured as seen from the photo.




Shoulder Mobility Check


Lastly overhead mobility is critical for CrossFit in any overhead lift like the overhead squat, any pressing variation and especially the snatch and clean and jerk.

Have a seat at the wall and attempt to touch your palms to the wall behind you. However, You have to do this without arching your low back.




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