Mobility Tools and Mobilization Methods Part Three by: Bob Portell

In part three of this series we will be focusing on the tools used in conjunction with the Mobilization Methods discussed in Part Two. We will be dividing the tools into the levels. As mentioned in the two previous parts of this series, more detailed information can be found in Kelly Starrett’s book “Becoming a Supple Leopard”.

Level One Mobilization Tools:

The Level One Mobilization Tools will be the least painful and easiest to use, but will not make as much change as higher level tools. If you are just starting to do Mobilization Exercises, these tools will be a good ones to start with.

Foam Roller

Mobilization Methods that a foam roller should be used in conjunction with include Contract and Relax, Pressure Wave, and Smash and Floss. Foam Rollers can be purchased through many sources, both online and at brick and mortar locations. The two links below are to two different types of foam rollers. The High Density Foam Rollers will be not as firm as the “Grid” Rollers in the second link. Keep in mind that the firmer the roller the deeper it will penetrate tissue. Our gym has the High Density Foam Rollers for you to take a look at. If you are interested in a “Grid” Roller, let me know and I can bring mine to the gym for you to see and feel the difference.‐high‐density‐foam‐roller

Yoga Tune up Balls

These balls are about the same size as Lacrosse Balls, but are softer. Smaller balls like these are good for trigger points. Mobilization Methods that Yoga Tune Up Balls are good for include Contract and Relax, Pressure Wave, and Smash and Floss. The below link is just to one source of these type of balls. Similar balls could be found from other suppliers.‐tune‐up‐therapy-ball-pair

Alpha Ball

This ball is about 3.5 inches in diameter and is used to work across larger areas. The Mobilization Methods that are best used with an Alpha Ball are Contract and Relax, Pressure Wave, and Smash and Floss. As with the Yoga Tune Up Balls, the below link is just one source of this type of ball.‐ball

Level Two Mobilization Tools:

The Level Two Mobilization Tools tend to be smoother and harder than the level one tools. Due to the increase in hardness, these tools will also come with more pain when using.

Lacrosse Balls

Lacrosse Balls are the step up from Yoga Tune Up Balls. They are much firmer and will get deeper into tissue. You can perform the Contract and Relax, Pressure Wave, and Smash and Floss Mobilization Methods with Lacrosse Balls. We have Lacrosse Balls at our gym or you can get one at a local supplier like Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods.‐nfhs‐lacrosse‐balls


A softball would be your step up from the Alpha Ball. You can Contract and Relax or Pressure Wave with a Softball, but it is most effective for the Smash and Floss Mobilization Method.

Rogue Monster Bands

Monster Bands is basically a very strong rubber band used mainly for Banded Flossing, but you can incorporate Contract and Relax in your work with these bands. If you recall from part two of this series, Banded Flossing is used to get your joint into a good position and work on restrictions. The link below is to the Rogue Monster Bands you find at our gym. There are also many other companies making similar bands. Keep in mind the Green 65lb and Black 100lb are the one to use for Mobilization work.‐monster‐bands

Level Three Mobilization Tools:

The level three tools apply increase pressure which will produce the greatest gains. These are the tools you will find sold on Kelly Starett’s Mobility WOD site. These tools also come with a higher price tag than the previous tools.

Mobility WOD Supernova

The Supernova is the third step in the progression from the Alpha Ball and Softball. We do have a Supernova at our gym and I would highly recommend trying it out before making the investment. The Battlestar and Little Battlestar are the step up from the “Grid” Rollers. These tools can be found at the Mobility WOD website or Rogue Fitness at the link below.‐rehab/mobilitywod/tools

We hope you have found this series informative and gives you a foundation to build your Mobility work from. If you have any questions, be sure to talk with a coach at the gym.