Class Spotlight: Performance Mobility


If you’re new to Top Tier Columbia, you might not know we offer something very few local gyms offer: a dedicated mobility program. Why do we do it?

What We’re About

Mobility + Stability = Better Performance

Being mobile is important in class and in daily life. Imagine a rusty Tin Man trying to squat, let alone add weight. Now imagine a hyper-mobile Scarecrow trying to squat. He can get into the positions, but can’t lift anything without losing your stuffing, so to speak. Most of us need more than cooldown stretches at the end of class to strike the balance between stability and mobility that will ignite our performance.

Our mission is to empower each Top Tier member – CrossFitter, lifter, yogi, martial artist, dancer, or recovering couch potato – to grasp movement principles, embrace their own body’s strengths and weaknesses, and use practical tools to perform better.

We do that by:

  • Sharing the very best drills and techniques from ROMWOD, MobilityWOD, Yoga Tune Up, Ido Portal, The Movement Fix, Gymnastic Bodies, kettlebell training and more
  • Teaching members how anatomy relates to movement and helping them identify their own unique challenges
  • Constantly learning and sharing among all our coaches including Amelia, Mike/Gonzo, Scott, and Erica

Our Schedule

We just completed a survey of members. We believe mobility and stability work is more of a regular practice than a once-in-a-while fix and you all agreed. To give the people what they want, we removed the 75-minute class we offered in the past. All classes will now be a short, sweet 30 minutes. Here’s our new schedule beginning November 28, 2016:

  • Mondays from 4:15-4:45 PM
  • Tuesdays from 6:45-7:15 PM
  • Thursdays from 10:45-11:15 AM
  • Saturdays from 9:30-10:30 and 10:30-11:00 AM

Check out our schedule page for the most up-to-date information. We also recommend our yoga class on Sunday evenings at 5 PM, if you’re craving more weekend recovery.

Meet Some of the “Mob Squad”

We asked two of our Performance Mobility coaches, members of what we like to call “The Mob Squad,” to talk about what made them passionate to start this program and keep making it better.

Coach Amelia wants to improve your life!

Top Tier Coach AmeliaI have always known the importance of mobility as it was a part of my dancing from a very young age. However, I realized the importance of STABILITY to prevent injury when I was 19. I am hyper-mobile in my lower back, and I got a lower back injury from a lift during a dance piece. With the help of yoga and acupuncture, I was able to strengthen and stabilize it. From there, I got my 500-hour yoga certification. When I moved back to MD, I was able to apply what I had learned to my CrossFit and then teach mobility and yoga at Top Tier.

I love the ability to literally change your performance in a lift or in overall well being – whether it’s working on Achilles mobility to allow for a deeper squat or helping release someone’s T-spine so that they are not in pain while sitting at their desk for hours. One good example of that is John Jacobs. His strength and lifting totals have all gone up, along with every skill I can think of, because of his work ethic around mobility. Through his effort and consistency he was able to change his kyphosis of the spine significantly and his shoulder mobility has improved immensely.

I hope that the mobility classes will allow people to improve their quality of life. Perhaps it’s a PR on a lift that they were not able to hit because of lack of mobility, stability , or strength. Perhaps it’s helping the overall tightness that might be affecting their way of life.

Certifications & Ongoing Education: 500-hour Yoga certification through MindBody Dancer, Functional Movement Screen (FMS) certification, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certification. I also read books such as Kelly Starrett’s Supple Leopard and Ido Portal and recently attended a Strong First kettlebell seminar.

Coach Erica thinks you’re more than a bad machine!

Top Tier Coach Erica I wasn’t an athletic kid. I got into yoga in college, practicing on-and-off ever since. Eventually I got certified to teach it and had been doing that for a couple of years when I started CrossFit. I had good flexibility and balance but not when I moved quickly or loaded up the bar. I have also had TMJ with jaw/neck tightness on one side of my body from age 13. When I did too much work over head, I could barely turn my neck for the next week.

Enter, mobility! I learned a few techniques from coaches early on and worked on my form to prevent problems. I’d share what I learned with friends and they’d talk about their struggles with me. I wanted to be able to help them, so I attended the CrossFit Mobility Certification class. I mentioned my desire to teach to the coaches/owners at my previous gym and they had me start in 2015. I can clearly remember ones of the first people I taught. Jay was active-duty military and struggled with combat injuries. Helping him improve his range of motion and understand his own strengths and challenges was tough but so rewarding. He PRed his front squat and come to the next class with a smile to light up the box. I was hooked after that.

I used to relate to my body like it was a crappy machine. I ignored it for huge chunks of time while I sat for hours, then rushed to workout, oblivious to its need to rest and recover. When I finally slowed down to grasp my physical capacities and struggles as a part of who I am, something changed. I could learn how to improve, not just by pushing my body further but by caring for it, too.

Certifications & Ongoing Education: Centergy Yoga certification, CrossFit Mobility certification, and reading from Jill Miller’s The Roll Model, Kelly Starrett’s Supple Leopard, and all kinds of online sources like The Movement Fix, Ido Portal, Clinical Athlete and more.

Join us

Come see our friendly faces the next time you’re feeling stuck or stiff or just curious. Try a class. Let us help you make the most of your performance!

Top Tier Coach Mike, a.k.a. "Gonzo"
Coach Mike/Gonzo
Top Tier Coach Scott Pickett
Coach Scott