If you train regularly or play a sport, having an effective mobility program in your health and fitness toolkit is essential. The same is true if you are feeling those creeping aches and pains that come with age.
As someone who is 50 years old, participates in several sports, and trains six days a week, I am constantly searching for the perfect mobility program. A daily mobility practice is one of the only reasons I can do all that in the first place.
So when Kelly Starrett (author of Becoming a Supple Leopard and the godfather of mobility work) released his virtual mobility coaching program, I had to try it out. And wow, am I happy that I did!
The Ready State virtual mobility coach is a full suite of online and app-based tools that walks you step-by-step through myofascial release, mobility, and stability. It’s suitable for people of almost any skill level and, when used daily, will significantly improve mobility and reduce pain.
What’s included with The Ready State
Where to begin?! Of all of the programs I’ve reviewed and used, whether they are training or mobility programs, The Ready State is by far the most feature-rich. Here is a list of just some of what the program includes.
- 14-day free trial
- Free App (Android and Apple)
- Daily maintenance sessions
- Individualized prep and recovery plans for:
- 22 specific sports
- 7 foundational movement patterns
- Mobility test that scores 4 key areas of mobility and helps create a custom plan based on your specific needs
- Test/Retest movements to check your progress
- Specific pain protocols for 13 different body parts
- Bonus classes and challenges
- Educational library of content
- Ability to download videos for offline use
- Ability to save your favorite videos and instruction
Who is the TRS Virtual Mobility Coach for?
- Athletes. Whether you’re a pro or recreational athlete, anyone that regularly participates in any sport will benefit from this program.
- Weekend Warriors. Work all week and then play hard on the weekends? Your sedentary weekdays and overly active weekends make you a prime candidate for The Ready State.
- Anyone with joint pain. Obviously, consult your doctor first, but if you suffer from joint pain, there is a lot in this program for you to try.
- Anyone with mobility issues. Trouble moving? Can’t touch your toes? Lack of range of motion holding you back? You can fix all of that with some dedicated work in this program.
- Anyone training for health and longevity. Maintaining a pain-free life and good movement patterns gets harder and more complicated with age. This is the perfect daily dose of medicine to help with that as we get older. And this is the primary reason I use this program daily!
Who Shouldn’t Use the TRS Virtual Mobility Coach?
- People with a low pain tolerance. I’m not gonna lie. A lot of the work done in this program is painful. The instructors never come out and call it pain, but that’s precisely what it is. You can modify things, so they are bearable, but working through the pain is where you’ll find the best results. If you know yourself well enough to know you won’t do that, skip this program.
- People who won’t put in the work daily. 10-30 minutes daily is what you can expect. Sure, you can use it when you want, but I’ve found that the real magic happens when you commit time daily. If you only have time for something 1-2 times per week, I’d look for a different option (see below for some alternatives).
- People who do not train regularly. While this program will work for almost anyone, I really don’t see anyone who doesn’t regularly train with weights sticking with this program. There are probably better alternatives (see below) if this is you.
What Equipment do you need to use The Ready State?
Just a few basic tools are all you’ll need, and, likely, you’ll already own at least a couple of them. Here’s a list of what I find myself regularly using as I use the app every morning. I’ve linked each to Amazon, so you can see the same tools I use and love. You can also buy them directly in The Ready State app!
How Much Does The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach Cost?
This is a subscription program that comes with a 14-day free trial. The monthly investment as I write this article (November 2021) is $14.99 per month. You can save by paying for a year at a time at $155.88 ($12.99 per month).
Pros and Cons of The Ready State
There are quite a few things I like about the TRS Virtual Mobility Coach (and some things I wish were different). Here’s a quick rundown.
- The instruction itself. This is as close to an in-person coach as you can get without hiring someone. It’s impressive how personalized and helpful it is.
- Kelly Starrett. Kelly is the single most respected authority in the mobility community. His depth of knowledge and his ability to relay that knowledge in an understandable way set him apart in a big way.
- Kelly’s team. Usually, it’s disappointing when you see “the B team” come in for instruction in a program like this. Not the case here. Every single person who teaches in this app is outstanding!
- Variety of movements. The wide variety of movements available make this a program you can stay engaged with. It also allows more personalization than other programs that have a much more limited set of exercises.
- Diagnostic tools and test/retest. A huge key to having success with any mobility program is to know exactly what you need to work on. A close second is knowing how to test your progress and adjust your programming over time. TRS gives you everything you need to do this.
- Easy to use app. It’s well designed and puts everything you need right at your fingertips.
- Video quality. Well-produced video and audio quality throughout every lesson.
- Daily practice section. If you aren’t working on something specific, there’s a new session loaded daily for daily maintenance.
- The “I’m in pain” section. The description says it all. You tell the app where the pain is, and it tells you what to do. Love this!
- It’s a useable version of the Becoming a Supple Leopard book. Great book, but almost unreadable by most people. I tried so many times to use that book and always came away confused and frustrated. TRS takes the information in that book and makes it applicable and useable by anyone.
- It hurts! I need to be brutally honest here… 90% of the work I do daily in this program is painful. I always feel amazing when I’m done, but the pain is real. If you’ve worked with a lacrosse ball before, you are familiar with this type of discomfort. If you don’t have a tolerance for this, you won’t like this program at all. If you are unsure, make use of the 14-day free trial to see exactly what I’m talking about.
- It’s missing some specifics. As good as this app is at helping you identify what might be helpful, it does occasionally give too many broad recommendations. I’d like to see it get more specific over time.
- It could be more straightforward as to what you should be doing every day. Related to the previous point, the app will often give you multiple options to try, and you kind of have to figure out which is best for you from there. This is especially true in providing tailored daily guidance. There is a general daily plan that’s great. Still, when it comes to working on your own particular opportunities, I think fewer options and more precise direction would be helpful.
- Hard to see angles sometimes. When someone is sitting on a ball or foam roller, frequently, it’s hard to see exactly where the pressure should be applied. I’d like to see clearer views of exactly where that ball or roller is working.
- There is almost too much content. It takes a bit of time working with the app to filter through everything that’s there. Every once in a while, I find something new that I wish had been made more prominent or linked to another activity. I’m pretty sure I’m still missing out on things I just haven’t come across yet.
- It’s clearly geared towards people who CrossFit. A lot of the stories, analogies, and practical applications are CrossFit-based. This has gotten better over time, but I still feel like some of this may not apply to me. If you CrossFit, then this isn’t a con at all!
How to get the most out of the Virtual Mobility Coach
While the program has been really beneficial for me since day one, I’ve found four keys to getting the most from it.
- Use it daily. There is a massive difference between using this occasionally and using it daily. And I mean every single day. It wasn’t until I started devoting the first 10-20 minutes of every day to this program that I saw drastic results and pain reduction.
- Test/retest often. Use the mobility test diagnostic tool every one to two weeks. It will keep you focused on what matters and drive home just how much progress you are actually making.
- Focus on your big rocks. Using the diagnostic test, you can hone in that first 10-20 minutes of your day on the things that will make the biggest difference. Doing this will get much better results overall and will make a lot more progress over time. Don’t waste your time on things that are minor issues. Fix the big ones first, and a lot of those minor ones will go away too!
- Learn to breathe through the pain. Kelly and the instructors do an outstanding job of helping you work through the pain that happens while digging some of the tools deep into your fascia. The biggest one is to remember to breathe. Keep this tip at the front of your mind at all times. It is the single biggest reason I’ve been able to make the progress that I have.
What are some alternative programs to TRS?
TRS is not for everyone. Whether it’s the subscription pricing model, the type of approach to mobility, or the uncomfortable nature of many of the sessions, you may want to work on your mobility, but not with TRS. Here are some other options (all of which I’ve used personally) for you to check out.
- MAPS Prime Pro. This is a one-time purchase, self-directed program that includes many of the elements of TRS. I wrote an entire review of this program that you can read here. I’ve used it extensively and continue to use elements of it to this day.
- Functional Patterns 10-week course. I’m not a fan of this program, but I know it’s something that is probably popping up in your social media feeds regularly. I’ve done the course and have a full review posted here. Before you decide to use this as an option, I strongly recommend you read that review.
- The Roll Model/Yoga Tune-Up Program. This was the first mobility work I ever did, and I learned so much! If you are a book person and on a limited budget, I can’t recommend this program enough. Jill Miller, the author, has a ton of free content online that supports the book. The Yoga Tune Up balls are also my go-to choice for mobility tools. I’ve gone through several sets and won’t use anything else!
- Yoga Class + Massage Therapy. Yoga class (with a good instructor who understood how to work with people who also train with weights) paired with weekly massage therapy is my favorite way to address mobility and pain issues. When I was more comfortable going to group classes and getting in-person instruction, this was my regular practice. If time, money, and interacting with people in person aren’t issues for you, this is the single best choice over all others, in my opinion.
As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach. It’s become a can’t miss part of my daily health and fitness routine. At the very least, everyone should take advantage of the 14-day free trial and see for themselves why I like this so much!
People also ask
Can you buy The Ready State outright?
I hear you! It seems like everyone and their sister want another $10, $15, or $20 per month from me. Subscriptions are out of hand these days! Unfortunately, this one is no exception. A subscription is the only way to get TRS. That said, they do offer a discount for paying yearly. I’d recommend starting with the 14-day free trial. Then pay for a couple of months individually. Then upgrade to the annual plan if you really like it and see yourself sticking with it.
Will I be able to use The Ready State if I lack mobility?
That’s hard to say, but they do offer scaled-back options for their harder movements. The instructors are very good at helping you find ways to work the program even if you are restricted in your range of motion.
Are the tools needed for The Ready State expensive?
No! I linked everything you’ll need in the article above, but you can go even cheaper than that if needed. A tennis or lacrosse ball and a basic foam roller (you can get these for just a few dollars these days) are all you really need.