Do you want to run faster, lift more weight, move without pain, or just move better in general? Improving your mobility may be the answer. Mobility is nothing new, but it’s finally getting the attention it deserves in the fitness industry.
What is Mobility
So, what is mobility? You may think of mobility as the same as flexibility, but the two are not synonymous. While they’re similar concepts, they have two very different implications for your fitness routine.
Flexibility refers to the passive ability to lengthen a muscle (such as through static stretching), while mobility is your ability to actively move through a range of motion with control. Flexibility is a part of mobility; however, mobility also requires strength, coordination, and body awareness.
Why Mobility is Important
What’s so cool about mobility, is by practicing mobility specific exercises, you can increase all of these things - flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness throughout your workouts. Basically, by including mobility in your regular routine, you can teach your body to move better.
Think about it, when you’re in that heavy-loaded barbell back squat, you need to be able to control your joints, muscles, and range of motion to carry out the movement correctly - that’s mobility!
If you have poor mobility, your body will find ways to compensate, such as poor movement patterns, or bad form which will decrease overall performance, and could potentially lead to injury. Mobility becomes incredibly important when training for performance - such as lifting heavier, jumping higher, running faster - as when performance is involved proper mobility will allow you to enter into the correct body positions to generate the most force, and move efficiently. Without proper mobility, you’re likely missing out on your best performance, and risk your safety.
How to Improve Mobility
Mobility can be included in many places in your routine - in the morning to wake up your body and muscles, before a workout with workout-specific dynamic stretches, during your cooldown, or even here and there throughout the workday to relieve tension of sitting at your desk all day.
Wherever you decide to add it into your schedule every little bit helps! Below I’ve included some of my favorite mobility exercises. Add these to your routine as you see fit. I’d recommend choosing a combination of exercises that feel good to you, and those that are similar to movements in your regular workout routine.
Complete 10 reps of each exercise. Repeat for 2-3 sets if you have the time, for best results!