Mobility is a key factor for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life. Not only can it be an indicator of how healthy you are, but it’s also a vital contributor to reducing the risk of injuries as well as improving technique and range of movement. Mobility designates exercises that will increase your range of motion and your stabilisation, or control of the muscles that surround each joint. Mobility isn’t the same as flexibility, although it is close. Mobility incorporates flexibility and strength, & it’s vital to help you move & feel better, get stronger, squat deeper, push harder, and jump higher etc
How will mobility work help me move & feel better?
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: “Because we spend so much time in poor, static positions including in front of the computer, TV, or phone, our body gets ‘tight’ and lacks both optimal range-of-motion and adequate activation of specific muscle groups.” If you head into a workout with a limited range of motion – your assistance muscles will start to compensate.
Because assistance muscles are typically smaller and weaker, forcing them to handle excessive torque is a recipe for pain and injury. Worse, if your lifts aren’t activating primary muscles because you can’t achieve full range of motion, you probably won’t even build the muscle/strength you’re working toward. Further, ageing affects muscle mass and strength, bone density, and can make joints stiffer and less flexible due to reduction of cartilage thickness. As we age, muscles, bones and joints undergo physiological changes that affect mobility and which can ultimately impact our independence, so it is even more important to work on your mobility drills.
How will mobility work help me prevent injury?
In our experience, most people either don’t know that they need to spend time working on their mobility, don’t know what they should be doing, or are wasting their time performing ineffective techniques. And you never really know it’s an issue until it’s too late. Most people can get away with poor mobility and movement for a finite amount of time—until your body has had enough, and injury and pain set in. If your shoulder has a limited range of motion and you keep jamming it every time you perform a pushup or pull up, it’s eventually going to push back by way of injury. Mobility plays a massive role in improving movement quality and preventing injuries throughout life. Because we perform some movements more often than others, the muscles develop unevenly– some becoming tight and short, others loose and long.
How will mobility work help me get stronger?
Mobility is essential because it prepares our bodies for the stress of training. Consider the deadlift: To achieve optimal deadlift position, you need flexible hips and mobility in several other joints and muscles. (Tight hamstrings, for example, will limit your hip motion.) When you have inflexible hips or hamstrings, neighbouring joints that can’t handle so much weight at that angle—like, say, your vulnerable lower back—will have to pick up some of the strain. A day later, that extra lower-back work may just feel like a little soreness in your lumbar spine. But keep lifting like that, and chances are pretty high you’ll eventually pay the price—whether from another tight deadlift or just bending down to lift your kid off the floor. If you do mobility work regularly, though, you improve that range-of-motion—looser hips, more flexible hamstrings—and your body can use your powerhouse gluteus muscles to lift those weights off the floor instead. Furthermore, a limited range of motion translates to limited muscle/strength growth. One study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that, compared to 12 weeks of shallow squats, doing deep squats built more thigh muscle, improved knee extension and flexion, and boosted squat-jump power.
Mobility Drills are exercises that promote mobility by taking the muscles, tendons, and joints through the full range of motion with the intent to increase efficiency and quality of motion. Mobility exercises tend to be calming and help release stress and will prevent the stiffness that comes with muscle build-up and strength training. They add variety to your workouts and keep you interested. They are a great way to warm up or cool down after your training session. Just 15 minutes of mobility warmup work every day can prevent a devastating injury—torn rotator cuff, slipped disc—that’ll keep you out of the gym (and in a lot of pain) for months.
Try our mobility drills by subscribing to the Top Coach youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvK6FCzNqBIWkQAvOzP_eiw