Health & Habits

The Benefits of Mobility Training 

Posted April 16, 2021


Mobility is a term that many fitness trainers often throw around, referencing stretches or some low-impact workouts. It’s a crucial component of our health that affects not only our fitness, but our longevity. We often take it for granted until we become immobile for short (or long) periods of time, and then truly understand the importance it plays in our lives.

Most people know what flexibility is, but often confuse it with mobility. Flexibility refers to the ability our joints have to move without pain and stiffness through a range of motion. For example, flexibility allows us to lift our leg upward while standing with the assistance of our arms. Mobility allows us to control the whole range of motion with just the muscles. Unlike flexibility, there’s no requirement for any assistance to perform the move.

Improving our mobility has so many benefits, but a few stand out. The first is a dramatic reduction in injury risk. The better our mobility, the greater our freedom when we move in different ranges of motion. Trying to lift too much too fast, especially when we have existing mobility issues, puts us at serious risk for hurting ourselves. The second benefit is quicker recovery times. If we’re immobile, fluid circulation can be compromised, which can hamper the muscle recovery process. Relieving muscle tightness and increasing circulation to specific areas are critical for optimal recovery. The third benefit is that it allows us to perform exercises with proper form. Without mobility, proper form simply doesn’t exist. When we’re able to lift heavier weight and get into better positions, we can generate greater strength and power, safely.

The benefits are clear, so these three practices below can help us implement more mobility into our lives: 

1. Step Outside Our Normal Exercise Routines

One of the best things we can do for better mobility is to mix up our exercises. If we only run, we’re mobilizing our body in one specific way. Working out itself improves mobility, but we must incorporate different types of movements that activate different areas of our body to become more well-rounded. Pilates and yoga are particularly effective as they force our bodies to hit different angles and planes than they would with basic movements like walking or running. Boxing, ballet, or mixed martial arts can help switch our routines up, and even activities as simple as gardening can be beneficial. Pairing a hobby with mobility training can be both enjoyable and effective. 

2. Stretch Regularly 

One of the best things we can do for better mobility is to mix up our exercises. If we only run, we’re mobilizing our body in one specific way. Working out itself improves mobility, but we must incorporate different types of movements that activate different areas of our body to become more well-rounded. Pilates and yoga are particularly effective as they force our bodies to hit different angles and planes than they would with basic movements like walking or running. Boxing, ballet, or mixed martial arts can help switch our routines up, and even activities as simple as gardening can be beneficial. Pairing a hobby with mobility training can be both enjoyable and effective. 

3. Utilize Foam Rollers/Mobility Balls

Muscle tightness can keep us from being our most mobile selves, so in addition to stretching, using a muscle/fascia release technique with foam rollers and mobility balls can significantly help our bodies loosen up. Some shy away from such techniques because they can be painful, but that pain is likely the sign that we’re too tight and must continue to release. For best results, these tools can be used before and after a workout to loosen up the fascia around the muscles and relieve any tightness.

There are numerous benefits of mobility training that are helpful in both the gym and everyday life. Implementing mobility exercises reduces our risk of injury, increases strength and power, and improves our techniques in whatever activity we choose. A quick 10-15 minute mobility training routine practiced consistently can help us come closer to reaching our health and fitness goals. 

DAILY ESSENTIALS



Written by Brett Malaney






By Vedge Nutrition

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