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Why You Shouldn't ROMWOD

Hey there.

Bit of a controversial topic today, but it needs to be addressed.

If you're into lifting, you've probably seen a fitness account promoting ROMWOD for mobility. But today, I'm here to tell you why you shouldn't pay $14 a month to increase your risk of injury.

ROMWOD is a mobility program that is essentially 15-45 minutes of passive stretching. It is marketed as improving mobility, as well as aiding in recovery and relaxation. Today we're just going to focus on the mobility part, because that's the part I have a problem with. Users follow the instructional video to spend 1-5 minutes "plopping" into various poses, where they are to just hang out and be as passive as possible, allowing joints and muscles to stretch to their end ranges of motion. According to promoters, this passive "plopping" will increase your ROM in your lifts, i.e. fix your depth on squats, help you get into better sumo position or get a bigger bench arch.

Let's think for a second. I want you to think through your squat, bench, and deadlift, and identify the parts of the movement where you should be passively plopping into a position. None, right? In fact, you should be doing the exact opposite. Don't believe me? Load up a bar with 95% of your max, passively "plop" into a squat, and see how you feel. (Please don't actually do this.)

If your intent is to lift weights well and lift them safely, it DOES NOT MAKE SENSE to use ROMWOD as your mobility program. Increasing the mobility of a joint to a range of motion that cannot ACTIVELY be reached by an individual and then adding a loaded bar into the mix is honestly asinine. It's an injury waiting to happen. It completely goes against Injury Prevention 101. I've personally "cured" quite a few clients simply by convincing them to save their $14 and STOP doing ROMWOD.

What should you do instead?

ACTIVE MOBILITY. Lifting is not passive. It is active. So your mobility work should match. Work to increase your ACTIVE range of motion, i.e. create a greater range of positions that you can CONTROL. Keep your joints and muscles safe by only putting them in positions you are strong in.

Don't know where to start? Check out these options.

If you are local to Birmingham, my good friends at The F.A.R.M. can help you out with these.

As always, email me if you have any questions, or leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: I have nothing personal against ROMWOD. I have very intelligent friends whom I adore that are affiliates for ROMWOD. If you're looking for short Yin yoga sessions that you can do anywhere, heck, maybe you should try it. Just don't use it as your sole mobility program for heavy lifting. That's all. :)

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