Mobility has become a lot more ‘fashionable’ for want of a better word. Within most fitness professionals’ eyes, it’s always been priority; however, it’s certainly only become more talked about in the last few years. I think this may be due to the popularity of fitness bloggers and seminars/exhibition such as Body Power expo, Balance Festival etc.
Mobility is about a lot more than being able to touch your toes and it doesn’t mean being capable of doing the splits! Being mobile is the basic function of the human body and is an essential part of everyday life.
I have come across so many people that suffer severe back pain and it stems from lack of flexibility from the hamstrings. When I tell them that, they question if I’m mad; but your body works as a whole and your posterior chain is an example of this.
I have tried to drill this into my clients and class participants and with some of my PT clients I will spend their entire session performing mobility drills (which some will find harder than a HIIT workout!).
It can be a complicated process to improving on your mobility/suppleness so it’s key that you seek professional advice and guidance. Everybody’s anatomy will differ slightly and lack of mobility can stem from different problems/reasons so there is no one size fits all. I have included reasons as to why mobility is so IMPORTANT:
- It prevents injuries. We all know this, a thorough warm up doesn’t just mean 5 minutes on the cross trainer – move the muscles you are about to work!
- The more movement you have within your joints and muscles (less tension and lactic acid) the more room your muscles have to grow.
- Your quality of life is improved. If your back is aching from standing up for too long and your legs feel tight when you just put them up on a stall – that’s a problem. Simple mobility drills daily can improve this.
- Your posture can be improved. No one wants to be a kyphotic or lordotic older person, it’s uncomfortable, and can lead to further problems. Always focus on drawing those shoulders back and engaging your core to stop that back from arching!
- It can count as a workout! Sometimes 30 minutes of mobility or a workout with similar benefits such as low intensity yoga or tai chi can be more beneficial to you that 30 minute of weights. Not to say it will burn more calories but both are just as important and it may just make you feel good, sleep better and feel 2 inches taller.
I could talk about this all day and hopefully anyone reading this post may start to talk about it too. Don’t neglect your body, it’s the only one you’ve got!