Stick Mobility Course Review

Last month we co-hosted the Stick Mobility Level 1 certification here at Perfect Stride Physical Therapy.  We had a great time, and added a GREAT tool for both our rehab and performance populations.

What is Stick Mobility?

Stick Mobility is a system that enables increased range of movement (ROM) and enhances neuromuscular awareness.  This system uses a stick as a toll to help improve your functional mobility, full body strength, stability, body awareness and posture. (Stick Mobility Manual)

Using five core principles the system allows for improved strength and control of mobility you otherwise wouldn't have access to.

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Stick Mobility Priniciples

  1. Leverage and Stability - The stick is used as a tool to create leverage. This leverage helps you overcome your body's resistance when moving allowing you access to greater ranges of motion, and offers enough support to allow you to breath and strengthen within these ranges.  
  2. Feedback - The stick helps give visual and kinesthetic feedback to enhance body awareness and learning.  
  3. Irradiation - Using Sherrington's Law of Irradiation, the sticks are used to help increase the amount of motor units activated, giving your nervous system more input and helping to strengthen the movement pattern.

    Sherrington's Law of Irradiation:

    "A muscle working hard recruits the neighboring muscles, and if they are already part of the action, it amplifies it's strength.  The neural impulses emitted by the contracting muscle reach other muscles and turn them on as an electric current starts a motor."

  4. Isometrics - These are muscle contractions that result in no joint motion.  This helps increase neural drive, muscle fiber recruitment, and rate of force production.  There are 3 types of isometric contractions.
    1. Overcoming Contraction - Creating an isometric contraction by pushing against an immovable object.  An example of this would be trying to push a wall away from you.  Your mindset while doing this is to overcome the resistance of the immovable object. 
    2. Yielding Contraction - An isometric muscle contraction where you actively contract all the muscles involved in a movement pattern.  Examples of this would be Controlled Articular Rotations, or Isometric Rows where you hold the weight at the top of the movement.
    3. Static Contraction - Your muscles contract, but you don't actually move or push against anything. Example of this would be making a bicep muscle.
  5. Coordination - The stick allows for enhanced neural feedback, increased muscle activation, bilateral coordination, and aids in the correct timing and sequences of muscle firing.  This improves the coordination of the brain and body for improved execution of movement.

How To Use The Sticks

The formula Stick Mobility created to improve mobility is:

  • Start by warming up.  This excites the nervous system and will grant you short term improvements in range of motion.
  • Using the stick's leverage, you can use a mix of passive stretching and isometric contractions to get yourself into a deeper stretch. 
  • From here, you can use progressive isometric patterning to create strength within movement patterns.  
  • With consistent training, improved mobility will happen.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the course is a great addition to any movement enthusiasts repertoire. Using the sticks definitely changes how stretches feel, and the leverage you can create really aids in helping you get deeper into positions you otherwise would not be able to access.  

The course covers fun, creative ways to use the stick that will surely leave you sore. Yet, the stick in itself permits you to use your creativity, giving this tool endless uses within your system.

If you have taken the class, or decided to take it based on this review, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.