As we grow older, mobility often declines. There are many reasons why mobility can worsen, but usually it is due to a lack of exercise, or a chronic illness such as arthritis. Some short-term illnesses and accidents can also quickly reduce mobility, especially when there is damage to bones, muscles and connective tissues. Regardless of the cause of reduced mobility, it is almost always possible to improve it, so long as problems are tackled quickly. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it’s done.
What is Mobility Training?
Mobility training is the practice of performing exercises that aim to increase the range of motion, flexibility, and stability of the joints and muscles. This type of training is essential for individuals of all ages and fitness levels as it can help improve posture, prevent injury, increase performance, and enhance overall quality of life.
Mobility training exercises can be categorized into three main types:
- Dynamic stretching – this involves moving through a full range of motion to improve flexibility and joint mobility
- Foam rolling – a self-massage technique that uses a foam roller to release tension and improve circulation
- Strengthening exercises -these focus on building strength in specific muscles to improve stability and control
Benefits of mobility training
One of the benefits of mobility training is improved posture. Poor posture is a common problem that can lead to a range of issues, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches. When the body is not properly aligned, it can put undue stress on certain areas of the body, leading to pain and discomfort. Mobility exercises can help improve posture by stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak ones, leading to a more balanced and aligned body.
Mobility training can also help prevent injury. When the body is not properly prepared for physical activity, it is more susceptible to injury. By performing mobility exercises before a workout, the body is better prepared for the stresses of exercise, reducing the risk of injury. In addition, regular mobility training can help address imbalances in the body that can also lead to injury. For example, tight hips or weak glutes can lead to knee pain or lower back pain. Mobility exercises can help correct these imbalances, reducing the risk of injury.
Another benefit of mobility training is improved performance. When the body is more mobile and stable, it can perform better in physical activities. Improved range of motion can lead to more efficient movement patterns, allowing the body to move with greater ease and grace. Strengthening exercises can help improve control and stability, leading to better balance and coordination. This can translate to improved performance in sports, as well as in daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries.
There are many different mobility exercises that can be performed, depending on an individual’s needs and goals. Some examples of dynamic stretching exercises include leg swings, walking lunges, and shoulder circles. Foam rolling exercises can be performed on a foam roller or massage ball, and can include areas such as the quads, hamstrings, and upper back. Strengthening exercises can include exercises such as squats, lunges, and planks.
It is important to note that mobility training should be performed with proper form and technique. It is also important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the exercises. Overstretching or pushing too hard can lead to injury, so it is important to listen to the body and only push to a comfortable limit, and it is really important to get instruction from a qualified fitness coach or personal trainer, or in a group exercise setting, to get the best results and safest methods. Mobility training can be performed at home or in a gym setting once you have learned the basics.
Mobility training is an important aspect of overall fitness and wellness. By improving range of motion, flexibility, and stability, mobility training can help improve posture, prevent injury, enhance performance, and increase overall quality of life. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or simply looking to improve your health and wellness, incorporating mobility training into your fitness routine can provide numerous benefits.
Want to learn more? This is a great video of exercises and more information: