Feel like you’re not achieving your full fitness potential? If you can see your range of movements becoming a little rigid or not progressing in the way you want them to, you may be putting the focus on your flexibility, not mobility training. The latter is a fundamental (often overlooked) necessity. Let’s see why.
WHAT IS MOBILITY TRAINING?
It combines mobility exercises that increase the range of movements and motions your body can perform. These include flexibility, but also balance, pliability and strength. The full combination is the best way to avoid injury.
One great thing about mobility training is its diversity. You can easily adapt it to meet your needs and your routine. From a pre-workout mobility exercise to a 10-minute full-body workout to a full yoga workout.
However, it’s important to listen to your body. Bring mobility training slowly into your routine. Firstly, start with one or two parts of the body, rather than immersing yourself in a full-body mobility training session.
What’s the difference between mobility and flexibility?
To speak scientifically, mobility is “proprioception” – our perception and awareness of our body’s positions and movements. Mobility training, then, includes a range of exercises designed to increase your range-of-motion, control muscles surrounding each joint, and help you move more actively.
Flexibility, on the other hand, is the stretching and lengthening of our muscles. When you can increase the stretch and length of your connective tissue, you can help your body through a full range of movements without causing injury, stiffness and pain.
Why mobility training should become part of your routine
If you want to run faster, jump higher, squat lower, lift weights more efficiently and achieve your ultimate fitness goals, mobility training is a must. Incorporating mobility and flexibility is vital when wanting to gain peak fitness and functioning.
What happens if you don’t make this training part of your routine? Well, if a certain part of your body has less mobility, you may find yourself overcompensating when using other muscles and joints: that’s how you get injured. Think of a damaged knee — when we have weakening and pain in one knee, we naturally find ourselves increasingly using the uninjured knee.
Mobility training helps prevent muscles from becoming tight, immobile, and suffering from an all-round lack of movement — again, leading to potential injury. We can only get away with poor and limited mobility for a certain length of time before our body tells us we’ve had enough.
The benefits of mobility training are plentiful:
- Promotes good posture (looking at you, desk-workers).
- Helps prevent knots and injuries.
- Relieves tension associated with sedentary lifestyles or over-exercising.
- Improves all-round functional fitness performance.
- Increases range of movement, helping us stay active and healthy longer in life.
- Reduces joint deterioration (prevention is always better than cure).
- Prevents aches and pains (and prevention… you know the drill).
- Helps build stronger, more adaptive muscles and joints.
Whether you’re a runner, yogi or HIIT fanatic, there are plenty of reasons to include this type of training in to your routine. This 30-min full-body mobility training is a perfect place to start – your body will thank you for it.