In Episode 4, host Justin Robinson speaks with Bradon Hull, his personal strength coach. Bradon transitioned from Strong Man training to CrossFit and is currently pursuing an advanced degree in exercise science. Listen to hear Bradon’s simple tips for how to improve your mobility on a daily basis, how to get the most out of your foam roller, and how to approach breathing post-workout to re-establish your baseline.
Bradon Hull played high school football. When he showed interest in weight training, his coach encouraged him to try Strong Man. He competed in Strong Man for about a year, then transitioned to CrossFit. He has been to the Granite Games twice as part of a team of three.
The Granite Games is a high-level invitational CrossFit competition. The first time his team placed 14th, the second time they placed 11th. The first time Bradon competed in the Granite Games, he was blown away to be competing alongside well-known athletes in the CrossFit world. His team had been training together for a couple of years. Their team mentality was an advantage. The second year his original teammates couldn't do it so he did the online qualifier for fun and formed a team. Bradon would like to compete in the Granite Games again, but this is a busy year for him with graduate school and an upcoming wedding. Bradon is getting his Master's degree in Exercise Science at UTA with an emphasis on strength and conditioning. He also interned at TCU.
As far as mobility goes, despite what you may hear, it is highly genetic. Some people are more mobile than others. Usually females are more mobile than males. Mobility will depend on your genetics. To improve mobility, look at the shoulders, the T spine, hips, and ankles. If you can attack those four things, you will definitely get more mobile. Overhead flexion, getting your hand past your ear overhead and squat depth will help with mobility. For overhead flexion you can try to use soft tissue mobilizations on the pec, pec minor, and your lats.
For squat depth you really want to address ankle mobility. People are neglecting hip internal rotation for squat depth. Hip mobility was big back in the day but it is coming back around. You really need good hip mobility and ankle mobility to hit squat depth.
Bradon highly recommends checking out The Ready State. The Ready State uses lacrosse balls, foam rollers, bands, and other tool to help you get ready to lift or help you post-lift. His go-to is using the lacrosse ball or one of those fancyVigorous Innovations massage guns on your pec minor and a stiff foam roller on the lats working side to side to help release. He recommends the same thing for calves. Use the foam roller side to side and move the ankle around. Bradon uses a pretty hard foam roller. Let's say you're doing your quads and running the foam roller up and down really fast. You may increase blood flow, but you're not really addressing the tissue stiffness or limitations. The Ready State demonstrates different techniques on the foam roller. Bradon utilizes soft tissue mobilizations before a workout. He doesn't do a lot of static stretching before, that comes in after. A couple of sets of static stretching and some breathing work would be his two best things to do post-lift.
Breathing is everything. If you don't have a good aerobic system you won't do well in CrossFit. You have to be able to breathe through out your movements. Nasal breathing will help you recover and get down to baseline. He likes to do 5-10 minutes on his back doing nasal breathing. One of their coaches came up with a breathing protocol that requires a 4-second hold and then a 6 second exhale.
Bradon loves coaching online. His ultimate dream job would be to coach competitive athletes at CrossFit gym.
3 Key Points:
- Mobility is highly genetic and some people are more mobile than others.
- Make sure that you’re using your foam roller in the best way possible to address tissue stiffness and limitations.
Taking the time to work with your breath will help you re-establish your baseline and prepare your body for the next workout.
“As far as mobility goes, despite what you may hear, it is highly genetic. Some people are more mobile than others.” – Bradon Hull
“For squat depth you really want to address ankle mobility.” – Bradon Hull
“The consistency of a foam roller is definitely a factor, but also how you are foam rolling matters."– Bradon Hull
“Breathing is everything.” – Bradon Hull
“My ultimate dream job would be to be a coach at a CrossFit gym and really coaching competitive athletes.” – Bradon Hull