In Medical/Injuries, Videos

July 07, 2010

Video Article

Mobility and recovery expert Kelly Starrett has a lot of unique ways to improve a client’s range of motion and flexibility without traditional static stretching. By using some basic principles of physical therapy coupled with around-the-house objects, Starrett takes a few athletes at CrossFit Santa Cruz through a series of two-minute drills aimed at improving their performance.

In Part 3 of this series, Starrett turns to the pull-up bands present in most CrossFit gyms to help create a stretch that’s impossible without some assistance. By pulling the shoulder straight overhead the athlete is able to manipulate parts of the girdle that are difficult to reach through traditional stretching. The end result is improved range through the socket, which gives the athlete increased capacity overhead.

6min 44sec

Additional reading: Your Form Sucks by Dr. John Zimmer, published May 22, 2010.

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15 Comments on “Two-Minute Drills Part 3: Distracting the Joint”


wrote …

That's the one.
I think you just fixed my stuck shoulder problem Kelly. I'll try this one out as soon as I can get home and have a play with it.

I'm still coming to see you on Tuesday though.


wrote …

I'm loving this series. One question I have though is:
How long does this change last? I would assume the same as a stretch yeah?


wrote …


This is fantastic stuff!

18 months ago I blew my L4/L5 disc and contacted you. You gave me sound advice then. I have made solid improvement since and am back to crossfit. So thank you for that.

My shoulders and upper traps have been fairly tight over the last four weeks and I am struggling to keep my elbows up at shoulder height in the set up for a front squat. You are right in saying you typically need a partner for some of these PNF stretches which really work. I couldn't agree more. ROM improves a fair bit just through these stretches.

Now I can do it on my own so thanks for that as well!

CrossFit Journal...what an awesome resource for anyone who is serious about training.



wrote …

Gold again from K-star! Thank you Thank you Thank you.


wrote …

This is great for todays WOD. I liked the pullup kipping reference..


wrote …


As far as long term change is concerned, it depends. If you only challenge those ranges on a random basis, short term is all you get. If you want to make serious changes in your mobility, you must address your limitations in a frequent systematic fashion. I hope that helps.

Rob Wilson


wrote …

When is the best time to do this? Pre workout? Post Workout? Rest day? All of the above? I would assume pre, but I am really inflexible on my rest days.


wrote …

Great shoulder info for overhead work. Will we get to low back and legs soon?


wrote …

My guess is the following in order of increasing time requirement and effectiveness:
pre + rest day
pre + post + rest day

Like Robert said, frequency and consistency is the name of the game.

I have two questions:
1. How do you choose amongst the three drills if time is limited?
2. Is it possible to do the drill in the video with stall bars, a bar in the rack, or a inflexible stretching strap? I don't have the bands...


wrote …

Kelly, would these stretches be good for somebody that has had their shoulder pop out of place a couple of times or has had surgery because of it?

Thanks for your help


wrote …

As for when and how many times for any of these stretches, Kelly coached that if you were in school and gettting grades ( a,b,c,d,f) you have to stretch for five times a day. which would equal an A student.

These are two minute drills, if you can't find two minutes when you wake up, before/after meals, while watching tv. etc.....

everyone can find time : )

thank you k star for all your help, CrossFit Eclipse


wrote …

Thanks for the input Craig.

To answer my own question #2: yes, using a stretching strap is possible. Since it's shorter than a band, you need a bar at the right height. Stall bars are perfect for this. I haven't tried it with a band, but I would predict that the strap is more effective since all of your effort goes into stretching yourself rather than the band. The only consideration is if your strap isn't soft or cuts into your skin. My suggestion is to either wrap your wrist carefully or put something like a small cloth in between your wrist and the strap for cushioning.


wrote …

I did this today during my bench workout, wow what a difference. This series is definitely allowing me to think about recovery and stretching in a new light.


wrote …

Great info as always. More please. On a side topic can anyone give some info on the timer they are using in this video? Brand, model, manufacturer anything to help is appreciated.


replied to comment from Benjamin Moskowitz

I just did 3 of the drills. And seen huge difference immediately! Freaking incredible. Didn't have resistance bands for this drill so I just used my rings. I feel it worked great.

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