I am an early adopter when it comes to technology, but not fitness trends. We see all kinds of stuff come up all the time from DVD’s and infomercials to products which are dubious at best. Most of it is crap and some is gold.

I never rush to judgement and jump on the bandwagon. This is evident in my programming and choices of equipment at TPS. We love the basics.

However, we must always be learning and one of the places I feel that we as athletes and coaches can learn a lot of really valuable information is in the areas of mobility, flexibility and restoration. If you open up a catalog or look at a website that sells mobility tools there are hundreds of products, some good and some just foolish.

There is just as much info on the web. Some good, some not so good.

Today, I am going to give you my personal experience with Acumobility products. Acumobility is a company started by my friend Dr. Brad Cox. Brad is a holistic practitioner who heals people with nutrition, lifestyle changes and proper tissue work. He created Acumobility as an information based company that also sells tools to use along with his techniques.

Brad’s stuff is going to be a GAME CHANGER for this industry. The key is, you must use them properly.

I can go on and on about all of the clients we have referred who came back fixed when no one else could fix them but it would take a really long time to type. Let’s just say that my medical network is small, but excellent and Brad is one of the people I refer to frequently.

Remember, as coaches, we do not treat or diagnose injuries. We refer. If you don’t have a team to refer to, get one.

Anyway, I’ll remind you that I like to bitch about my injuries (it’s not my fault, it’s the Irish upbringing). I have a pretty serious hip issue that prevents me from squatting, benching, deadlifting and more without pretty serious pain, and walking or running is almost out of the question.

WATCH: Interview with Acumobility’s Brad Cox

I have a pretty bad Gimp Limp and it has been getting worse. I am always looking for a treatment, technique or exercise to make it better. For quite a few years I’ve had Graston and ART from some of the best on a regular basis and it helps, I get massage on a regular basis and do my work in the gym with what I know to make it better.

So far I have had some relief but in the past three weeks, I have seen more improvement with four techniques done for about 20 minutes three times a week than anything else, ever.

Let’s back up.

I have been meaning to get up to Brad’s office for a long time, but there never seems to be the time to go so I put it off. Brad and I decided to get him to TPS for a seminar series on the use of Acumobility tools. We did the first one on the bench and press a few weeks ago and it was a huge success. Brad led the group through a self-assessment series that is surprisingly close to what my Director of Strength and Conditioning, Kevin Cann created for our Total Performance Method program and clients.

The difference: Brad uses his tools and techniques to get you moving. Since we don’t know Brad’s techniques as well as we would like, this was a perfect chance to get me and the coaches up to speed, as well as our members.

At the seminar, Brad spent a while with me and gave me four techniques that were for my individual issues. Even though this was a bench seminar, they were included. We use our lower body to bench, right?

Anyway, over the past three weeks I have been giving 100% effort to this and I say that I have about an 80-85% reduction in pain, my limp is almost gone, and I can get up from a chair without screaming, “Oh God." Now that may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you can’t walk, it is.

Forget lifting. I just wanted to be able to walk without crippling pain. As a matter of fact, last week I took my son and the dog for a three mile walk. I haven’t walked three miles since before I got my driver’s license in 1984.

Murph Dog

That’s a big deal.

I also have not squatted or pulled. I’ve been doing 7” block pulls and keeping the weight light. I mean light. I hit 275 for 3 sets of 5 Monday with zero pain. Next week, I’ll go to 315 and see I there is any pain. I suspect there will not be.

I also have not benched for a few weeks. I’ve been Edema pressing, as the last bench session in the shirt jacked my hip up for days after.

I’m not going to make any predictions, but I am confident that I’ll at least be able to get a permanent, lasting reduction in pain and a restoration of ambulation. Fancy talk for being able to walk right again.

So what did I do?

I’ve been focusing on the following using the Acumobility Balls which are MADE IN USA:

Five minutes of work on the Eclipse Roller. This is not an ordinary foam roller.

Ball Work:

  • Quad Trigger Point Release (one ball)
  • Inner Thigh Release
  • Psoas Release
  • Deep Hip Flexors Release

I’ve also been adding in a few of my own:

  • Hamstring Release
  • Inner Thigh Flexion and Extension
  • Pec Trigger Point Release
  • Low Back Progression
  • Upper Back Release
  • Lat and Serratus Release

That looks like a lot, but it takes about 20 minutes, it hurts a lot, and it replaces my usual warmup.

Brad’s stuff works because it not only releases the stuck tissue, possibly better than other techniques, but it also requires you to re-pattern the movement. Re-patterning is simply performing an exercise after you release the tissue. I’ve also been using the tools with clients. We are seeing immediate improvement in mobility directly related to each lift.

For example, I had a client yesterday morning who was pressing and he was having difficulty getting into the rack position and moving through a proper range throughout the press. A low back progression here, an upper back release there, and a lat and serratus release after, and five minutes later, perfect and pain free presses.

Really, five minutes later.

This is what we are seeing typically, not once in a while. As a coach, you need to analyze the movement issue and choose the right re-patterning exercises to correct it which is what I did. You can do this too, with yourself and your clients. I told Dave about Acumobility and he put the stuff through the testing procedure before selling the products and I’m glad he did.

Grab a pair of balls (I was dying to write that) and an eclipse roller. Learn how to use them and lift and move better right away. The products come with information on how to use them in the form of video instruction on the web.

Here’s a quick tip: Dr. Cox says when you are searching for the areas to be released, if you are on a spot that doesn’t make you want to puke or pass out in pain, move along. Find the spot that hurts and work that. It’s where you need to be. If you’ve been training for a while, that should be easy.

And one more thing: start with the orange balls. They'll hurt. You'll need to move up to the blue balls soon. Once the orange ones lose their painful effect, you need to get yourself blue balls.

Yeah, I said it. Blue balls.