On Monday, I boarded a plane to Florida, and as a result, my legs were horribly tight during the next day’s training session. I was instantly reminded of how I spent the end of last year rehabbing a hip impingement that came on after flying from New York to California to watch the CrossFit Games and from California to Hawaii for the rest of my summer vacation. The combination of tight muscles from long flights and intense training was disastrous. So, you can imagine the nerves I felt when my inner thigh tightened while doing Bulgarian split squats on Tuesday.
Of course tight muscles aren’t an injury, but continuing to train without addressing the issue could lead to one. And ain’t no body got time for that!
Since the aggravated muscle was in the a spot that would make using a lacrosse ball difficult, I kneaded the muscle with my hands for a few minutes and applied pressure to the most tender spots like I knew my physical therapist would do if I was at home. I even bent and unbent my knee to simulate an Active Release Therapy Session while pushing down on the knotted muscle. It helped. I went from having a slight limp in my gait to feeling about 40% better.
But later that night, still aware that my leg wasn’t feeling quite right, I decided I needed to try to relax that muscle even more if I was going to be able to train the next morning. And with a meet just two weeks away, I can not afford to take any time off of my training.
Enter: RomWod. I discovered RomWod through Instagram posts a few months ago and was intrigued. When I asked a friend about RomWod, she explained that it was “like yoga but without all the kumbaya.”
I’ve done yoga before and believe it’s a beneficial practice to pair with lifting or with CrossFit. But when most classes take between an hour and an hour and a half, and I already spend two+ hours lifting on top of having a full time job, I just don’t have the time to devote to getting to a yoga class. And at $15-20 dollars a class, I don’t have the wallet for it either. My discretionary income is already going to paying for weightlifting programming, signing up for meets, buying protein and other supplements, and purchasing the occasional piece of apparel.
Plus, if I’m being honest, the only part of yoga that I’ve ever actually enjoyed is the “savasana” at the end where I get to take a 5 minute nap. I’m just not that bendy and flexy, and holding static poses when my muscles are screaming makes me want to explode. Zen, I am not.
But if it will make me a better lifter, I’m on it. So I signed up for a free trial of RomWod and decided to give this flexibility thing the good old college try. And to my surprise, I absolutely love it.
For real. I’d give it a 10 out of 10 for these reasons.
1. The programming each day is usually just 20 minutes long and the time goes quickly. I can always find 20 minutes in my day.
2. It’s all about the stretches instead of the static poses from yoga. I’m already doing so much strength training that I really just need to compliment it with stretching and that’s what RomWod is- mobility programming.
3. If some part of my body is particularly tight, I can skip the daily programming and use the filter to look through all RomWod workouts for one that will hit the area I need. I’ve been using this filter to work on my quad tightness while I’m in Florida.
4. Once a week there is a “warrior” session that lasts 45 minutes for days when I’m not training and want a longer recovery session.
5. It’s super relaxing. Daniel Head’s voice, the guy who records the videos, is soothing to me. And he constantly reminds viewers to respect their body and be gentle with the stretch. CrossFitters and weightlifters have the “Go Hard” mentality and this is the yin to our yang.
6. Without RomWod telling me how long to hold the poses, I’d probably cut my stretching short so it keeps me honest.
7. I’ve been doing RomWod with my co-worker on our lunch breaks and it makes for the best break in our day. And at night, before bed, my husband and I try to do a RomWod session. It’s a way to connect and take a mini-break from our hectic schedules.
8. And this is the icing on the cake: It’s made my lifting better. Having a better range of motion is allowing me to get into positions more easily and the long poses are helping with my mental focus. Since I started with RomWod about two months ago, I’ve broken through the grind that I was stuck in for a few months and have been enjoying a successful period in my lifting career.
RomWod is an amazing tool for both recovery and injury prevention, which is why I’m in Florida, writing about how RomWod has enabled me to deal with an angry quad and stick to my weightlifting programming. Now, instead of my quad feeling 40% better, it’s more like 80% and that’s after just two sessions. If I had only known about RomWod last summer, I might have had a shot at avoiding my hip impingement injury all together.
In fact, I like RomWod so much that I reached out and asked them to partner up so I can share the benefits of RomWod with others. Because of this, if you click through The Barbell Press to sign up for a free RomWod trial, you’ll get 2 weeks free instead of the typical 1 week. When the trial is over, it’s only $13.95 a month and there is no contract so you can easily cancel at any time. As always, I only partner with/recommend products that I use myself and that I wholeheartedly believe will be a benefit to you and your training.
Whether you decide to use RomWod or not, you can still incorporate more stretching into your routine. Make it a priority so you can stay healthy and recover well enough to give your next training session a solid effort. You’ll be grateful when you see how it impacts your strength and conditioning and leads to great progress.