Rebuilding Khalipa: Part 5

By Kelly Starrett

In Medical/Injuries, Videos

April 06, 2010

Video Article

The quest to prepare Jason Khalipa for the 2010 CrossFit Games continues in this fifth installment of Rebuilding Khalipa.

This time around, Kelly Starrett of San Francisco CrossFit runs Jason through a stretch that can open up assorted soft tissue and musculature Starrett refers to as “the business.” After Khalipa works himself over on the training table and tries a squat and an overhead squat, it’s pretty clear that the business is good—or at least better than it was.

Kelly Starrett is a doctor physical therapy and the owner of San Francisco CrossFit. Kelly is sharing his strategies for top performance and injury prevention at Movement and Mobility Certifications.

5min 28sec

Additional Reading: Hamstrung by Kelly Starrett, published July 1, 2007.

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16 Comments on “Rebuilding Khalipa: Part 5”


wrote …

This is all good stuff and obviously of benefit to anyone with mobility issues. The problem I see with it is that people just don't like doing it.

With lifting weights or doing a WOD you have something you can measure and you can get positive feedback: I lifted heavier, I completed more rounds in the time or I completed the WOD faster than before, or I worked hard and I felt pain! Even finding that you were unable to lift a weight you lifted before or you were slower is positive feedback because you have a measurement of your performance which you can use to set a goal for future success.

Mobility work just gives you discomfort. It's easy to give it up. You have to play much more difficult games with your mind to motivate yourself to continue with it. After all the real reason you have gone to the gym is to do hard physical work and to compete. Mobility work just doesn't seem to give any instant reward. There are standards you should be able to achieve but there doesn't seem to be a series of smaller goals along the way.

Take a muscle up for instance. You start out and you can't do them but you do pullups and dips and various progressions and eventually you get your first muscle up and everyone is happy for you and you are happy. Where is the equivalent with being able to touch your toes?

What about a mobility WOD?


wrote …

I agree Duncan, at the end of my gym session, it takes tremendous will power to get myself doing PNF stretching with my glutes, hamstrings, and calves...let alone mustering up the energy for upper body.


Jake Di Vita wrote …

I'll put this in the nicest way possible...

Stop being a pussy.



wrote …

There was a video of Coach speaking at a cert a while back saying that he deliberately chose movements for the WODs that required as much flexibility and mobility to correctly execute as most people would ever find useful. Part of the reason for that was because if he didn't, it didn't matter how many times he told people to stretch, they'd just blow it off. By putting things like OHS in the workouts and calling "no-rep" if ROM or form was inadequate, the same firebreathers who had no interest in stretching found it in their best interests to improve so they could compete with the people who had put the work in.
He also said in the same video I think that problems with mobility are there to be observed in the movements we use all of the time in the WODs. And Kelly demonstrated that by getting Jason to show how well or poorly he could do a basic air squat and an OHS. So it's not that we need to have a mobility WOD as such, it's more that we have to pay attention to the information we're getting from the movements we're already doing.
I doubt for example that anyone training at SFCF is ignorant of what areas they lack mobility in.


wrote …

Oops, forgot.

Very useful video, thank-you.


wrote …

Jake is right.

Kstar makes quips like, "bam that just dropped 10 seconds off your Fran time" in other videos demonstrating improved flexibility/mobility.

Doing the movements wrong - weight on the toes, etc, will just lead to failure earlier than it would have had you the same athlete been moving properly.


wrote …

Great video. I know that Kstar showed another video with similar exercises in it awhile ago, but seeing it again really helped. I think it helps to see both 'normal' CFers and firebreathers deal with issues of flexibility and see how it changes them/helps them.

I'm still not sure how to do the last video's hip capsule stuff, but I'm going to keep trying it.

After having low back problems in the past, I always make sure that I get in some mobility work before and after a WOD, particularly if I've been squatting heavy or DLing heavy. Foam roller, PNF, static... all kinds of stuff. It's helped so far, although I have more to go on flexibility.

I wish that there was a contest or a raffle or something to win an hour session with Kstar and have him teach you one on one. I'd love to get something like that!


wrote …

craig is right. i reached a point of fitness and motivation where i wanted to start getting my times in the competitive ranges. based on what i knew of physiology and movement i made the leap that i would absolutely have to work on flexibility and ROM in order to accomplish. i went on a quest for more information and found kelly et. al. saying exactly that. these videos and in fact all of his videos are so great. i did this today before the OHS wod and before my dynamic warm about a difference. even my air squats in the warm up felt 10x more solid and i did reps at 10lbs heavier than ever before, comfortably. i need to work on my shoulders next. THANK YOU KELLY!! Seriously, this is quality of life changing information.


wrote …

Mobility stuff is the stuff that people don't like working on for the most part, but when you spend the time needed with it you will see measuarable change, and have positive feedback. Lasting change doesn't always come easy spend time with what you need to work on and you will lift heavier, complete more rounds in the time, complete a wod in a faster time.
Mobitlity does take work which everyone isn't willing to do. If you want to see the change/improvement enough you will spend the time even if it is uncomfortable to do or gives you discomfort. Botton line it comes down to chasing performance. Do the little things that make a big difference.
With the things Kelly has shown to do in parts here gives you the smaller goals along the way. It will allow you to mobilize at the point of restriction which will lead to change. The progressions would be moving from where you are at with each stretch to moving closer to the standard and being able to have the best fit positions for the skills/elements you want to perform.


wrote …

To be done in the privacy of your home - watching So You Think You Can Dance :D LOL. I could tell Kelly was a fan :))))))).


replied to comment from Jake Di Vita

Totallty agree Jake. I should stop being a pussy, forget about all this mobility nonsense and get out there and shoot guns!


wrote …

That stretch he shows Khalipa is the daddy! It's probably the most important stretch I do pre or post workout as I've struggled with tight ITB/TFL and glute function. Something that I thought was a staple stretch in most CF gyms...maybe not??


wrote …

Growing up wrestling and playing rugby I suffered many knee injuries and hamstring pulls. It wasn't until my late twenties that my hamstrings and calves started getting noticeable tight. To try to loosen them up I use to have to the therapist place heat on my legs before games. I would go to the strongest hands masseuses and get them to put me in as much pain as they could. Plus countless hours stretching and icing down after every workout.

Unfortunately I started these precautions much to late. Closing in on thirty I can not go a full rugby season without a hamstring or calf pull. The best my legs get are the first day of the season. As the season wears on it gets worse and worse, as I get slower, less explosive and less confident.

If only I had worked on my flexibility throughout my life with stretches Kelly shows I would still be operating at peak performance instead of on the slippery down slope.

Please teach your athletes about the importance of stretching, flexibility, and mobility. It would of really helped me.

Thank you,
Jason Estevan


wrote …

Recently in the Irish Amateur Weightlifting Association there's been a big push on flexibility training, and we've had (an unbelievably hot(female)) circus performer teaching us about mobility and flexibility.
Moreover, these videos are great, and I'm learning loads;


I still find things a bit confusing at times. I mean over the course of these Khalipa videos, I've picked up a few good stretches, but I would love more! Maybe a video demonstrating a bunch of different stretches for each area or something? Even when I look on the internet for gymnast stuff, it tends to be very indescriptive pictures, or videos without much explanation. I admit, I am completely ignorant to stretching, and have no real idea what I'm doing.

Could this contribute to why people don't stretch? I mean, we all understand why we do squats, or why a Snatch is beneficial to us as part of the key principles, but I would say a good lot of people don't really understand flexibility training much, and this could definitely help!

Just my 2 cents!


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

K Starr, very, VERY awesome stuff bruddah, BIG thnx.

True regarding the warm ups, soft tissue, etc. - JK speaks the truth, we just kinda get into it!

Bring more guys, MORE!



replied to comment from Duncan Beattie

It sounds to me there is too many ego's out there! Stretching is not about how far you can go or how much it hurts. You will save your body in the long run! It improves your health letting the latic acids release, keeps the form in place without compromising the lower back, the neck and that's just touching the surface. If you care about your self and the others you train from injuries then do a class every day for your athletes and your self. I promise you will see the difference. Take it from a Yogi! Keep watching Kelly he is amazing for this sport!


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