Body mobility and strength training – how a powerlifter managed to improve performance

Mobility is very important when it comes to technique and safety in training with weights. In addition, a full range of motion helps produce strength and explosive power.

Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weights on three lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. Restricted mobility can, for example, limit your ability to squat properly, arch you back in bench press and keep your shoulder blades pulled back in deadlift. It can also increase your risk of injury and limit your performance.

TE3 monitored the mobility of Ann Jordebo, a 60-year-old Swedish powerlifter who won 4 golds and made a new European record in squat (125,5kg) in the European Masters Women’s Classic Powerlifting Championships in the beginning of March. She also made a new personal best in deadlift with a 2,5 kg add-on (147,5kg).

The training period was 30.12.2019-28.2.2020 and included hard strength training and tailored mobility training.

The key results in mobility were:

– side differences decreased 28%
– overall body mobility improved 80° in 14 different areas (approximately 5,7° per body area)

Ann told the mobility work had an impact especially on her technique and self-confidence.

Do you think the TE3 mobility training had an effect on your result in the championships? 

Mobility training enabled an even more secure performance technique. According to the judge’s feedback the lifts were easy to evaluate because they were technically correct.

How does lifting feel now that your mobility has improved significantly?

The lifts are a lot more stable and there are no side differences. I have gained a lot more self-confidence in me and my body. Thanks to the increased mobility, it is now easy to find an optimal lifting position. Before, finding that position was very challenging especially in bench press and squat.

How has mobility training affected your technique?

I have noticed a huge improvement in technique especially when squatting. Now I can pull my chest further out and my form doesn’t fall forward so easily. The muscles in my pelvis are more balanced and my lower back is more mobile, which enables going down and up straighter.

In bench press I can reach a better bridge position which enables a better lifting position as I can use more muscle groups. The position is also a lot more stable. I can also place my legs in an optimal position so my leg-drive capacity has improved significantly.

How did it feel to do daily mobility drills as the two month period was the hardest in strength training before the competition? 

Of course it was a bit challenging from time to time, but I immediately felt this training would take me to the next level. The mobility training was designed based on which strength training period was going on. This enables maximal benefit in training.

Were you surprised your mobility and technique improved so fast and so much? 

Yes, I felt that it was almost too good to be true. It took some time to get used to the new opportunities the mobility training brought me in lifting positions. As my results improved, the motivation towards mobility training grew enormously.

Was it challenging to do the mobility drills every day? 

No, I had decided to go through the routine and see how my body reacts. The signals were constantly positive and when my lifting coach told my technique had improved significantly, I knew we were onto something with TE3 training. The mobility drills were a part of my warm-ups and cool-downs before and after lifting practises. When I had a rest day, I exercised mobility as a recovery workout.

What’s next, what is your next goal?

In my next competition I aim to make a new personal best in each lift. My body is ready for that.

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