Mobility: a key part of getting fitter and stronger.
When people come to me to ”get fit” they work on the basis that it will be their fitness, their stamina (or lack thereof!) that will hold them back. The reality is that a lot of the time the real challenge is mobility. Good mobility and stability is the root of all fitness programmes and improving both will fast track your fitness goals.
Mobility vs Flexibility
Firstly, time to clear up a common misconception: mobility is not the same as flexibility! Mobility is the ability to move easily and freely without causing stress to our bodies. Flexibility is the range of movement and motion we have with our various muscle groups. The two are of course closely interlinked – good mobility can assist flexibility and vice versa – but they are not one and the same. This is why I have some clients that are hyper mobile but not flexible and vice versa.
While no client has ever said to me ”I want to be more mobile” a high percentage of those that I train have needed just that!
It is important to incorporate mobility training within your fitness regime as it will greatly improve your range of motion and improve posture. Mobility training can also help alleviate ‘everyday’ aches and pains (lower back or knee pain for example can really benefit from mobility exercises) as well as improve your body awareness.
Good mobility will greatly assist your strength training and improve your technique in exercises such as squats, lunges, chest press and any kind of over head presses. Better mobility will allow you to complete a bigger range of movement thereby ensuring you use more of the targeted muscle and increasing the intensity of the exercise. Critically, not only will it help you get the most out of these exercises it will also help you stay injury free.
Mobility training is something I do with all my clients. It doesn’t look the same for everyone but I use them to get the body warm and ready with targeted mobility drills. This helps to activate the muscles that will be working during training and it warm up the joints so that my clients move better and get more out of their session.
Speak to your PT to check which mobility exercises you need to focus on and should incorporate into your training regime.