Start with Mobility

One of the most overlooked aspects of any one person’s fitness, regardless of his or her experience, is mobility. Now, when I say mobility, this is not to be confused with stretching - passively bending or pulling or twisting into any number of positions for a short period of time. Mobility is strategic, and is designed to allow the athlete to prepare the body for movements specific to the ranges of motion seen in a given workout. With greater ranges of motion comes better muscle recruitment, and with better muscle recruitment comes increased strength – and who doesn’t love a nice gain or two?

Below are four benefits to incorporating mobility into your current routine:

  1. Decreased chance of injury – Perhaps the most important, improving mobility and correcting restrictions means more freely moving, stronger joints. Remember that a free joint equals a happy joint!

  2. Healthy joints – During mobility exercises, the area being targeted experiences increased blood flow to the surrounding tissue and the joints become lubricated (or “warmed up”), allowing them to glide. Increased blood flow to the muscles, and lubricated joints allow the corresponding body part to move more freely, with a less restricted range of motion. 

  3. Increased strength – Restricted ranges of motion do not allow our muscles to work in their full capacity. If mobility limits a proper, full range of motion, then we cannot become stronger throughout the entirety of that movement!

  4. No machines required – Aside from being easy and quick, these exercises can be done ANYWHERE, and most can be done with no additional equipment (with light bands and a broomstick being a couple of exceptions).

One of the cornerstones of a great fitness program, and prolonged health, is a dedicated mobility regimen. The advantages are immense, and pay dividends almost immediately. A decreased chance of injury, improved joint health, increased strength and movements that generally only require YOUR body are a few examples of the many benefits gained from implementing mobility into your daily and lifelong routine.