When most people think of working out, they think about it in terms of either gaining muscle, losing weight, or increasing their stamina.
What most people don’t realize is that our bodies are extremely complex and require maintenance in many different ways.
One of those ways is mobility.
What is Mobility Training?
Mobility Training is a form of functional fitness where we train our arms and legs to move in a full range of motion.
Having adequate mobility is essential for our bodies because it helps to prevent injuries related to sedentary lifestyles, improve our overall technique & balance, and provide benefits to our joints.
People will oftentimes mix up mobility with flexibility, mostly because the two are related to each other but function in completely different ways.
Mobility vs Flexibility
Flexibility is more related to your ability to stretch your muscles and relieve tightness or stiffness. For example, a basic exercise many people do is trying to bend over and touch their toes.
If your muscles are tight or you lack flexibility, it will be much harder for you to properly do the exercise.
Flexibility deserves its own discussion, so I’ll save that for a later post.
Mobility refers to your ability to perform a movement with the most effective range of motion possible.
For example, when an individual attempts to do a squat and can’t complete it all the way. Quarter squats are great examples of this if you’ve ever heard of them.
I often use mobility training as a warm-up to my workouts. Slow starts were a thing I dealt with at one point in my fitness journey until I incorporated it into my routine.
This is done by performing light exercises referred to as dynamic stretching.
Static vs Dynamic Stretching
First, let’s talk about the different kinds of stretching. There’s static stretching and there’s dynamic stretching.
Static stretching is doing a lunge and holding it for 10 seconds (or however long). Dynamic stretching is when you perform bodyweight lunges while focusing on the movement itself.
A great example of this is during my leg days. Instead of heading straight to the squat rack, I will always start with exercises like high knee walks, overhead bodyweight squats or high knee walks w/ internal rotation.
These warm-ups are excellent because once I begin my actual working sets, I’m able to perform my exercises with much better technique.
Mobility training allows me to keep my form consistent and prevents me from trying to overcompensate, leading to zero discomfort afterward.
Additional Mobility Techniques
Another way to train for mobility is to use resistance bands or resistance training.
This is one of my favorite ways to warm up as well. Most people hear the term resistance bands and think of the typically flimsy ones with the handles you might find in a lot of stores.
I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the loop bands.
Loop bands are a fantastic way to train for mobility while also adding some resistance to your exercise.
Some other ways to perform mobility exercises are by using poles, foam rollers, or barbells.
I don’t use foam rollers all that often so I can’t really speak towards its effectiveness, but poles and barbells are great when you can be more creative with your exercises.
This is something I will be covering over on my YouTube channel so stay tuned.
Incorporating a mobility routine or program can be highly beneficial to improving the overall quality of your fitness journey.
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