Common Mobility Trouble Spots for Olympic Lifters and How to Fix Them

Recovery | Strength & Conditioning

When you train hard regularly, every part of your body from head to toe and back up again can potentially develop range of motion and motor control issues. Especially if your training involves the high impact explosive movements of Olympic lifting patterns.

It’s easy to overlook or even mis-diagnose problem issues when some days it feels like your entire body is sore or beat up from training.

This can limit power production and, if left unaddressed, increase your risk of injury.

In this article, we’ll tackle three that anyone who’s constantly in the weight room might be struggling with – even if you don’t know it.

// 3 Mobility Exercises to improve your Olympic Lifts

1. Rhomboid Restoration

OK, it’s a given that most of us hold excess tension in our neck and shoulders.

But if you’ve ever felt that horrible tugging at the base of your skull after snatching a barbell or doing heavy single-arm kettlebell swings, the real culprit might well be found further down the kinetic chain.

Sure, it’s big traps that look intimidating and often are obviously tight as heck, but below them the rhomboids might be your real trigger point. So try this:

  • Pin a mobility ball between your middle back and the wall
  • Starting on the inside of your left shoulder blade and at the bottom of it, push back into the ball
  • Slowly scrub the ball back and forth
  • Accumulate at least two minutes and then switch the ball to the right side


2. Alleviate Adductor Hell

Another struggle spot for many lifters is a sore knee.

This is often caused when you have an imbalance of inner and outer adductor muscles.

Yoga and other adductor stretches can help alleviate knee pain and strengthen the muscles.

Try this exercise for yourself:

  • Sit on the floor and put your right leg out in front of you so the outside of your shin is flat on the ground
  • Put your knee at a 90-degree angle
  • Stretch out your left leg behind you
  • Fold down and forward at the hips, as if reaching for your right foot
  • Twist your torso to the inside, toward your groin
  • Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, release, and lean into the middle again
  • Repeat for two minutes minimum
  • Switch sides

3. Free Your Forearms

Like the shins, the forearms are a real pain in the arse (or, in this case, the arm) when it comes to mobility because there’s a lot of bones and not much soft tissue to work with. 

But nonetheless, you’re probably really tight in there because of how much time you spend gripping heavy objects and moving them around with speed and power. 

So take a tool like the MobilityWOD Leopard Claw and use it to alleviate the issue like this:


  • Apply lotion to your right forearm
  • Hold your scraping tool in a light but firm grip with your left hand
  • Starting with the lateral epicondyle (that ball of bone and muscle on the outside edge of the elbow where so-called “tennis elbow” issues often originate), begin slowly scraping the tool down toward your wrist
  • Turn your palm up and scrape the inside edge of your forearm
  • Accumulate at least two minutes and then switch sides



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