What is Mobility?
Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.
"The biggest difference between mobility and flexibility is that in order to move a muscle through its range of motion with control (mobility), you need strength. Which is why Wickhams says mobility is the better indication of how well and efficiently we move. Flexibility is one part of mobility." - barbend.com
When I think of Mobility, I think of Myofascial Release. In order to properly move a joint through its full range of motion, one's fascia must be properly hydrated, healthy and virtually free of restrictions (trigger points).
I like to simplify mobility training into 5 separate categories.
1. Myofascial Release (Foam rolling/Trigger Points)
2. Stretching (Static/Dynamic)
3. Corrective/Functional Exercises (Static Posture Holds, Active Walking, Corrective/Functional Movements Such as Mobility Flow)
4. Corrective Habits (Queue's, tips, tricks and techniques, ultimately the most important category)
5. Breathing (Box Breathing, Bouteyko, and diaphragmatic breathing techniques)
Looking at Mobility Training this way should open up some new doors and help you realize that most people are not even implementing at least one of these critical categories into their health & fitness plan.
In fact, most individuals and gym goers completely neglect mobility training as a whole when honestly 90% of the active community needs to be focusing on Mobility Training before even starting a new fitness plan or routine.
Virtually all pains, limitations and injuries can be avoided/prevented if we simply start and/or add in an effective and complete mobility routine.
So, what does a proper Mobility routine look like?
A proper mobility routine should incorporate all 5 of these categories.
#1 Let's start with Myofascial Release
1. Myofascial Release should be done 3-7 times per week with either a pvc pipe, dense foam roller, lacrosse and/or softball.
2. Each trigger point should be held for at least 2-5 minutes or until change occurs within the fascia/muscle.
3. Scan for dull, achy sensations, apply deep pressure, hold and perform micro movements with cross friction (small movements against the grain of the muscle).
(check out the product links at the bottom of the page)
Be on the lookout for my upcoming youtube videos in conjunction with all of my blog posts.
#2 Stretching is secondary to Myofascial Release
1. I prefer Dynamic over Static Stretching.
2. Use Dynamic Stretching as a warm-up tool for your workouts &/or a great way to keep moving throughout the day.
3. Search for mobility flow workouts
4. If you static stretch, be sure to opt-in for more total body stretches.
5. Hold each stretch for 2-5 Minutes
6. Try using PNF Techniques (squeezing the opposite muscle to disengage an overactive/tight muscle)
#3 Corrective/Functional Exercises
1. Corrective Exercises can be done as a warm-up alongside your mobility/dynamic stretching and/or a daily postural correction.
2. This includes: Active Postural Walking, Static Postural Holds, unilateral movements and decompression techniques.
3. Virtually any exercise which activates an under active muscle while still preserving the body's natural anatomical position/bio mechanical functions.
4. I recommend doing corrective exercises every day if you have poor posture, or you experience chronic pain.
#4 Corrective Habits
1. These will be done when you are driving, eating, sitting, working, walking and or when you choose to apply these mobility/corrective postural habits.
2. Some of these Habits include doing:
- Pulling your navel in (TVA)
- Retracting your Shoulders slightly back and down
- Raising your chest up nice and tall rather than slouching.
- Tucking your butt in rather than arching your back
- Rotating your T-Spine when walking
- & many more.
3. It's the habits that create the problems in the first place, this is why we must relearn our body and retrain it to move intentionally the way we are designed.
1. Breathing is by far the most important aspect of Health. Our posture, let alone our breathing regulates almost every physiological function within the human body. When we breathe in we activate our sympathetic nervous system, when we breathe out we turn on our parasympathetic nervous system (relax).
2. To get started with breathing properly you will first need to start.
- Breathing through the nose, rather than the mouth.
- Breathing through your diaphragm rather than the chest.
- Breathing very SLOWLY in a Relaxed state. (Bouteyko Method)
- Box Breathing (8s in 8s hold 8s out 8s hold or 4s in, 7s hold, 8s out. repeat).
3. Instead of meditating, practice breathing 1-2x daily for 5-10 minutes each session, just focusing on your breathe, breathing in through the nose, through the stomach as slow as you can while having a SLIGHT feeling of hunger for more air.
4. Then once you are ready, you can practice the next step, Controlled Holds. Simply start by taking a normal breathe in then holding the exhale. Now count how many steps you get, your goal is to get 60+ total steps. You can also lie down in bed and simply count how many seconds until you feel that hunger for air.