We hear the term mobility getting thrown around a lot in the fitness industry. But what really is mobility? And why do we need it?
Mobility itself is the potential range of motion of a joint system and the ability for this motion to be produced without restriction. This potential and ability will vary from person to person, and some people may be naturally more mobile then others. However, mobility can be improved upon using certain practices and exercises. But why would you want to spend the time improving your mobility?
- Reduce the risk of injury and alleviate pain
One of the biggest reasons why mobility is important is that any restriction on a joints ability to move through its full range of motion allows for a higher possibility of injury. Having free and unrestricted movement of your joints decreases your risk of encountering injuries in your training as well as your daily life. Also, mobility work can help improve pain experienced from daily activity of exercise. For example, low back pain can often be a result of poor hip mobility and hamstring flexibility, so working on these two things will help alleviate the back pain itself. However keep in mind that if you have a serious injury, mobility work alone won’t be enough to fix it.
- Get stronger
Since being mobile allows you to move through a fuller range of motion, this applies to your range of motion with weights too. Not only will proper mobility allow you to complete a lift through the full range of motion (e.g. achieving below parallel depth in a squat) but also it will allow you to position yourself in the proper position in a lift (e.g. creating external rotation in the hips for the sumo deadlift). Improving mobility can help improve your form in training, which will in turn make progression and strength gains easier.
- Helps you get warmed up
Mobility work will move blood flow to the tissues surrounding the joint that is being worked. Thus mobility exercises are a great component to include in a warm up to prepare the body for exercise.
In summary, improving mobility is key in gaining strength, preparing for exercise, as well as preventing and alleviating pain from injuries. Mobility work can be quick and easy, it can be performed before or after a workout or whenever you have a few spare minutes.
If you’re not sure on how to get started on improving your mobility, check out the mobility clinics being run at TORQUE starting August 10th. The clinics will run for 6 weeks with a schedule as follows:
Week 1: Hip & Ankle Mobility – Mobility for the Squat
Week 2: Shoulder Mobility
Week 3: Posture
Week 4: Mobility & Stretching for Low Back Pain
Week 5: Mobility & Stretching for Knee Pain
Week 6: Upper Back & Core Activation
Click here to sign up!