Whether you are training to become a successful athlete or trying to stay in shape and promote a healthy lifestyle, mobility is of the essence in elevating your performance and ensuring long-term health. In fact, mobility training is crucial not only for increasing the range of motion when you exercise certain movements but is also essential for joints, muscle tissue, tendons and ligaments, in promoting their health and strength.
More often than not, people tend to overlook the importance of incorporating mobility drills into their workout routines, deeming them something extraneous or time-consuming, when in reality they are missing out on a world of long-term benefits. Here is how you can easily incorporate mobility exercises into your daily life, elevate your performance, and achieve your goals.
Mobility is your ability to move freely and with ease according to your natural body composition and predispositions. While you are not able to surpass your natural limits, you can certainly achieve more regarding total body movement and flexibility than you previously imagined.
Mobility plays a key role in both aerobic and anaerobic training. Whether you are training for strength, cardiovascular endurance, explosive power or simply love to go for a jog in the morning, your mobility (or the lack of it) will define the health of your joints, and will affect your future performance exponentially as you age.
Benefits of mobility training
The benefits of practising mobility and corrective movements are numerous. Exercise science puts an emphasis on mobility as one of the key factors in determining the amount of weight a strength athlete will be able to lift, the longevity of their joints, tendons and ligaments. Likewise, endurance athletes such as marathon runners, cyclists and sprinters, to name a few, can prolong the health and lifespan of their knees, hips, and shins, as they are prone to various conditions due to the nature of their sports and the amount of stress they can put on these particular areas.
The joints, more than any other part of the body, are prone to injury over time. While it is important to strengthen the muscles around the joint for stability and strength, it is also important to relieve any accumulated tension in the joint itself and its surrounding muscles to prevent and treat injuries.
The knees, ankle joints, shoulders, elbows, and wrists are all prone to impingements and inflammation over time. Contrary to popular belief, a limited range of motion during exercise will not alleviate pressure from these areas, quite the opposite; it will create unwanted tension at the centre of the joint and strain the surrounding tendons and ligaments. All of this tension can lead to soreness, patellar tendonitis, shoulder impingement and numerous other long-term problems.
Let’s take a look at how to make mobility training a habit, and ensure long-term health, success and well-being.
Incorporating mobility into your workouts
Luckily, incorporating mobility drills is not time-consuming, they can be done multiple times a day if you need to split them up, and although beneficial, you don’t need to do them every day. The key is in preparation, and you should first make sure you are wearing quality bodybuilding wear that is specifically designed for performance, mobility, and healthy joint compression. Wearing the right clothes during your workouts is half of the mobility battle already won.
Secondly, you need to assess the state of your mobility levels and divide your body into green, yellow, and red regions, ranging from good mobility to very bad mobility. Naturally, areas with the good mobility need to be maintained, while the bulk of your efforts will be directed towards troublesome regions.
Your mobility level will depend on your lifestyle, level and type of physical activity, but for the majority of people, the tightest areas are the hips, shoulders, glutes and hamstrings, due to excessive sitting paired with heavy lifting. Be sure to exercise active mobility before your workouts that will double as a dynamic warm-up, and devote fifteen minutes afterwards towards eliminating any tight areas.
Unfortunately, an ever-growing number of people lack the necessary mobility to execute proper movement patterns during exercise, as well as during their daily routines due to the “comfortable” nature of the modern world. Fortunately, you can quickly avert these conditions and illnesses by incorporating a quick mobility routine into your lifestyle, thus elevating your performance, and reaping its long-term health benefits!