Before we look at ways to improve mobility, it’s important that we first understand what mobility is and why it’s important.
What is mobility?
Mobility refers to the ability of a joint to move freely through a given range of motions. In other words, how well can you move your muscles and joints?
Why is it important?
Mobility is important as it’s what allows us to move our bodies into positions effectively and safely. To perform exercises correctly and with good form, we must have the required mobility. Improving mobility will improve lifting technique, reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. Mobility is a crucial component of training. Having insufficient mobility will hinder your ability to get into certain positions. This can result in poor technique, increased risk of injury and will negatively affect performance. Improving mobility will improve posture and general movement in day-to-day life.
How can you improve mobility?
1. Lift Weights
A common misconception about weight training is that it will make your muscles tighter and less mobile. When, in fact, weight training can enhance your mobility while also making you stronger. The key is ensuring you train each muscle through its full range of motion (ROM). Muscles will remain mobile to the length they are trained at, so if you always cut the range of your exercises short, then your muscle, although still getting stronger, will tighten at that length. Performing exercises through full range will ensure you are both strengthening and lengthening those muscles.
2. Little and Often
Little and often is the way to go when it comes to mobility exercises. Frequency is key: you will benefit more from completing 15 minutes of mobility work 4x per week than 60 minutes once per week. Specificity also matters; to improve mobility in a specific joint or through a particular movement, ensure you are doing exercises that target the relevant joints, muscles and/or movement patterns.
3. Warm Up Properly
Make sure you are taking the time to warm up properly. An effective warm-up will include mobility exercises specific to the training session ahead. Before starting your main lifts, ensure your muscles and joints are mobile enough to move through the full range required to perform each movement.
4. Play The Long Game
You won’t transform your mobility overnight. Improving your mobility is a process that will take time, but if you stick to the tips above and couple them with time, patience, and consistency, you will reap the benefits.
5. Ask For Help
We’re here to help! If you’re not sure what you should be doing to improve your mobility or even have any mobility issues that need to be addressed, come and ask us. We can remove the guesswork and ensure your time and effort is being used in the right places.