What is mobility training and why do it?
It’s a bit of a hot word at the moment (well in the fitness arena anyway), but what on earth do we mean by mobility? I’m here to tell you why it’s important for your overall health and longevity!
Often the words mobility and flexibility are used synonymously and you may think it’s all about stretching. BUT, I’m here to say that they are both slightly different!
Mobility is the ability of your joints to actively move through a range of motion – basically so that we can perform everyday activities freely and easily.
Flexibility is about the lengthening of a muscle, and is a passive activity.
The key thing here is that one is about muscles and the other about joints! So put it like this – being in the splits position is about the flexibility (the muscles are passively stretching into it), but the mobility is what you need to get in and out of the splits with control, so you’re actively working the muscles to get into the position.
Now not all of us can or are interested in getting into the splits, so a squat is a good example of when we need good mobility. There’s a lot going on with the muscles and joints when doing a squat and with that, there’s a lot that be done wrong (boy I’ve seen some interesting squats in my time!). Good mobility will help you get deeper in those squats and you’ll be able to easily get out of the position, without having to use a chair to help you up!! 😉 Basically a key movement pattern we use a lot in every day life.
But other than helping you move better in general, what’s the point of doing it?
Stops you getting a hunchback!
Well for starters, our body gets good at whatever it does the most of. So if you spend your day sat at a desk, then your body is going to like that position and get better at it. You’ll get a tight neck, tight hips, rounded shoulders and probably a forward reaching head. None of which are things you really want to have – the hunchback is not a good look after all!
Prevents injury and lobsided-ness!
This desk-based lifestyle may of course not speak to you, but you may still suffer with tightness or random aches and pains. This could be down to some imbalances in the body and it can unfortunately put you at more risk of injury, as you have parts of the body that over-compensate for others. I’d be here all day if I regaled you with my aches and pains, but I have one side of my back that is short and tight, giving me a slightly scoliotic look. That has a knock on effect with my shoulders for one and glutes for another!
Improves your performance!
Going back to the squat, if you’re someone who is pretty active, there is a huge benefit to you, as mobility training will really help with your performance of said squat or whatever exercise you’re trying to master. Who doesn’t want to work to their full potential?
Basically bad posture, poor biomechanics, being sedentary or performing repetitive patterns will limit your mobility and flexibility.
· If you’re feeling a bit stiff or tight, mobility training is definitely for you!
· If you’d like to better your performance mobility training is definitely for you!
· If you’re feeling ok, but want to maximise your longevity and ensure you don’t need a tilting chair in your older age, then mobility training is for you!
We all need to add mobility training to our routine, if we want to move freely and easily as we age – add it now so that you can proactively combat the ageing process.
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MOVE WELL mobility workshop - Thur 15 July 2021, 7.45pm, Westbury Wildlife Park. Book here