Supple Leopard Starting Plan
The Supple Leopard basic plan below will get you started in strong fashion, from hip function to heel cords.
In Ready to Run, Starrett lays out these four directives for a high-performance mobility program.
1. Habitually seeking optimal positions from which to transmit power.
2. Developing the movement systems of your body so they have access to the full ranges of motion that your body was designed to have.
3. Practicing and mastering good movement patterns and positions
4. Developing strength and conditioning to support good movement patterns from the first mile on.
The following basic approach will put you on the road toward realizing these guidelines.
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Supple Leopard & Building It Into Your Day
“Although your body is designed to last you 110 years, you can shred through it in 20 if you try hard enough.”
This is the guiding vision of movement and mobility pioneer, Kelly Starrett, offered in his book, Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally. The intent of the book being to open Starrett’s Supple Leopard path to runners and those who participate in sports that involve running.
(Starrett continues on his Supple Leopard mission to solve the problems of athletes at all levels, with a particular awareness that age-grouper types don’t have unlimited time to train on mobilitywod.com.)
“Build it into your day” is a mantra for Starrett, acknowledging that most of us have jobs, school, kids and lives to attend to.
For Spartans who want to bound through their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond with childlike abandon and performance, below is a starter plan that requires essentially 10 minutes per day throughout the course of a week.
We all have specific problems and issues to address. Starrett’s mobilitywod.com has a searchable archive to help you be effective in maintaining your personal machinery now and for the rest of your life.
Ready to Run 7-Day Program
Monday: Hip Extension.
The “couch stretch” is the first line of defense against the tight hip flexors that can result from lots of running and/or lots of sitting. That can result in knee pain and various range of motion issues.
Tuesday. Hip Function.
The squat test is a simple but challenging exercise that can optimize hip function.
Wednesday. Feet mobilization.
The arch of the foot is to the human what a leaf spring is to a muscle car.
Consider how much power flow circulates through the ankle mechanism and surrounding tissues in a typical Spartan race and you understand the need for weekly maintenance.
Friday. Thoracic spine.
The human machine is a “system of systems” says Kelly Starrett. This is a foundational reason why mobilizing your upper back is important.
Running and hamstrings. Enough said. Especially fast running, leaping and accelerating.
It’s not fun to mobilize your quads, but the payoff makes it worth it.