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Monday Mobility – The Swallow Step

Mobility is best defined by the following equation:

Flexibility + Strength = Mobility

What use is mobility? Why is it important?

Simply put it means you have strength through the complete range of motion in a joint. Or the combined range of motion of a series of joints.

A lot of people have flexibility, but no strength at the extremes of their range of motion.

This leaves the joints vulnerable to injury.

And that’s not on.

This Swallow Step has been shown to me by several people over the years. All of whom were involved in one form of Chinese Martial Arts or another, and all of whom had incredible power and flexibility in their legs, which they would very kindly demonstrate by kicking me across the room!

One of these guys was Leo. This is Leo:


While these photos are staged, Leo could certainly fight. In fact I’ve never been side kicked so beautifully and powerfully by anyone else. Ever.

Another was Steve Cotter of the IKFF, who may be best known as the Kettlebell guy but is also a highly trained martial artist. It was from Steve I learned the name “Swallow Step”

This clip was videod recently as I was taking a few of my fighters through some mobility work:

If you’re new to this, start slow.

It’s common to simply get the movement wrong as it is a skill.

But if the body is unprepared, ie lacking in either strength of mobility, you must start easy. Go slow, stay within a range of motion that you can control.

As your body allows you to, you can increase the range and speed of motion.

Ultimately you will be doing this explosively or even with additional load.

Add this to your warm ups or cool downs on lower body days and enjoy the additional freedom of movement it allows you.

Regards Dave Hedges

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