What is Mobility Training?
Mobility, by dictionary definition, means “… the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.”
To move freely and easily, without stresses on the body, would be optimal mobility. This is what everyone is aiming for. Mobility explains how a person is able to move through the appropriate functional range of movement, within a given movement pattern.
It compliments flexibility in that, to be flexible around a joint, you will have good antagonistic range of motion in the muscles being used.
So by working on both mobility and flexibility, you will be promoting optimal range of movements around your joints and muscles.
Many gym members, men especially, want to go straight “beast-mode” and start getting “swole”, thinking that there’s absolutely no connection with increasing their range of motion (ROM) around a joint, and getting bigger. I strongly disagree. Muscles will generate more internal tension and metabolic stress when working through a larger range of motion, not to mention promoting optimal joint recovery when they aren’t consistently working in the same position, ROM, and plane of action.
So there’s a direct connection to getting bigger and improving on mobility.
When you can use Mobility Training?
The beauty in this style of training, is that it can be incorporated into your training regime at any stage and interval. It can be used as an effective warm-up and will greatly improve your lifts if you introduce mobility exercises to each session. Some people perform exercises within the main part of their sessions as active recovery between sets, and often it’s performed after session, to help improve recovery.
Types of Mobility Training :
#1 SOFT-TISSUE WORK
Soft Tissues are tissues which connect other organs of the body. They work on muscle tone by stimulating the golgi tendon organ, a receptor that regulates tissue tension, and causes the muscle being worked on to relax. Your muscles should be soft and pliable.
Spend 2 minutes prior to training, to roll out any problematic areas. Many gyms now are equipped with foam rollers, or even trigger point foam rollers designed uniquely to really target the golgi tendon organ, however you can also use tennis balls or even a rolling pin for similar effects. Roll over the ‘hot spots’ for 30 seconds and ensure you put pressure on especially tight areas until pain dissipates.
#2 CORRECTIVE MOBILITY WORK
This stage is optional, but can actively stretch problematic areas, and promote wider ROM for common movement patterns. Exercises such as the squat, or lunges, can hugely benefit from corrective mobility work. It works by stretching antagonist and smaller muscle groups that limit mobility of a given exercise. Some examples for the exercises mentioned, would be the anterior hip stretch and the external rotation stretch.
#3 DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY AND MUSCLE ACTIVATION WORK
You want to be spending approximately 4-5 minutes on dynamic stretching. Dynamic means that you are moving through the stretch to reach your peak ROM, and whilst doing so this warms the muscles up ready for the main workout.
For your cool-down, these principles would be best covered:
- MYO-FASCIAL RELEASE WORK
Just spend 1-minute foam rolling over muscles that you have worked. It will help promote recovery by encouraging blood flow through the muscles whilst they are still warm.
- STATIC STRETCHING WORK
Stretching muscles, you have just worked for 15 seconds per stretch, can aid in recovery and improve tissue length.
Mobility is the foundation point for pretty much all of your training.
To maximize the effectiveness of an exercise, you have to get into the best positions for the movement, and this is very individual to your own needs and ability.
The integrated actions of mobility promote lifts such as the squat, bench press, deadlifts, lunge, pulling exercises, pushing exercises, and pretty much EVERY kind of athletic performance.
Mobility training is always something that you can improve on. Initially, you will probably feel the benefits over seeing them. Consistency is the key to this style of training, and over time you may be a little less stiff, or be able to move a little deeper into your squat.
Gone are the days of “half reps” because your joints and surrounding muscles are the limiting factor.
Improve your mobility and in turn you’ll give yourself every opportunity to build or retain as much muscle as possible when you get me to write that strength training program you’ve been thinking about.
This is part of my mobility training, Soon I will be writing more things regarding mobility training. Till then apply all these methods and do write me about how you felt about same.
Author credits : Happy Singh