Mobility training is vital to any fitness routine, yet it’s often overlooked. Many think that mobility only applies to athletes or those who are extremely active, but that’s not the case. Mobility is essential for everyone, regardless of age or activity level. In this article, you will learn about mobility training, why it’s important, and how to incorporate it into your fitness routine. That way, you can start seeing the benefits of mobility training for yourself.
What Is Mobility Training?
Mobility training is an essential part of a comprehensive workout and fitness program. It is defined as establishing and increasing the range of motion, flexibility, strength, stability, and coordination in the body. Mobility exercises target specific muscle groups or parts of joints to enhance functional mobility, which can improve performance in other sports like running, swimming, and cycling. Mobility training could include stretching, foam rolling myofascial release techniques, and corrective exercises that improve coordination within the whole body.
Furthermore, it’s beneficial for rehabilitation after injury or surgery since it helps re-establish the range of motion in the affected area in addition to strengthening the surrounding muscles so that movement becomes easier and more effective. In short, mobility training can help increase overall athleticism while reducing the risk of injury.
Why Is Mobility Training So Important?
Physical mobility is essential to leading a full, active, and independent life. Mobility training helps achieve this goal by improving satisfaction with physical activity, increasing independence in daily activities, and reducing the risk of falls. It can also help individuals restore physical skills that were once impaired due to injury or illness. Mobility training ranges from simple exercises for a specific body area and can progress to more complex movement programs depending on the individual’s needs.
Strengthening key muscles in the legs, hips, and torso and improving balance allows people to move faster and with greater control over their movements. Ultimately, mobility training can be an empowering experience that increases one’s ability to lead an active lifestyle and reduces feelings of helplessness and frustration when dealing with impairments.
How Often You Should Incorporate Mobility Training
How often you should incorporate mobility work varies depending on your fitness level, age, and goals. Suppose you’re relatively new to fitness or at a higher risk of injury due to age or medical conditions. In that case, it’s beneficial to include mobility exercises daily or even multiple times per day. For those with more advanced fitness levels, incorporating a few days of dedicated mobility work may be sufficient to maintain flexibility and movement quality.
Ultimately, the best way to approach mobility training is to assess your individual needs and adjust accordingly. Regularly engaging in mobility exercises can help keep you healthy, no matter your life stage.
Different Mobility Training Exercises
If you are new to mobility training, there are a few basic exercises that you can try to get started. Each exercise targets a different body part, from the hips and lower back to the ankles, shoulders, and wrists. Here are a few examples:
Doing dynamic prying squats as part of mobility training can provide many health benefits. Developed and perfected by physical therapists, this method involves the movement of both your legs and hips to open up tight hips, ankles, and shoulders. This increased mobility can instill feelings of freedom from tension and soreness, allowing you to move more freely throughout the day.
Doing these squats regularly allows for better circulation in the body and less tightness in problematic areas. To do them, simply stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and lower into a squat position. As you come up, rotate to one side and then the other before repeating the movement on each side several times.
90/90 Hip Switch
Another key mobility exercise is the 90/90 hip switch, which uses stabilizing movements to target your hips and lower back. To do this exercise:
- Start in a seated position with your knees bent and feet firmly on the ground.
- Slowly swing one leg to the side to form a 90-degree angle with your body.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and switch to the other side.
This exercise improves flexibility in the hips and lower back, which ultimately helps you maintain better posture throughout your day. It may also reduce feelings of stiffness or tightness in these areas, leading to greater mobility overall.
If your shoulders are tight, shoulder rolls may be a good choice for your mobility training routine. This simple yet effective exercise works by increasing the range of motion in the shoulders and bringing more blood flow to this area. To do shoulder rolls:
- Start with your arms at your sides and slowly raise them up and out to your sides as far as you can comfortably.
- Drop your arms back down to your sides, rotating them forward as you do so.
- Repeat this movement several times, taking it slow and concentrating on the feeling of your shoulders moving.
A key benefit of shoulder rolls is that they allow for greater blood flow and circulation throughout the body, which can help increase energy levels and stave off fatigue. This can be especially helpful if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a computer throughout the day, as regular mobility training can help counteract the negative effects of such stationary positions.
Your feet take a lot of strain throughout the day, and it is vital to include at least a few heel raises as part of your mobility training routine. To do these:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly raise yourself onto your toes.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering back down.
- Repeat this movement several times until you feel your feet loosen up.
If you do these heel raises regularly, you will likely notice a difference in your foot and ankle mobility over time. This can translate to less tension and soreness in this area, not to mention greater comfort when standing for long periods or walking around throughout the day. Plus, performing heel raises regularly can help strengthen your feet and improve balance, which is especially beneficial if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
The final exercise to mention is the wrist extension, which increases the range of motion in your wrists, allowing for better circulation and blood flow throughout the body. To do this exercise, simply sit or stand with your arms straight in front of you and your wrists flexed at 90 degrees. Slowly extend your wrists as far back as you can go before lowering them back down. Repeat this movement several times to complete one round of the exercise.
When doing this, focus on feeling the full range of motion in your wrists and keeping your shoulders relaxed. And remember to take it slow, as rushing through this exercise can do more harm than good. For starters, it is best to stick with just a few wrist extensions daily, gradually building up to more as you become more accustomed to the movement.
Keep This Mobility Training Guide In Mind!
Whether you are dealing with low-back pain, tight hips, or aching feet, regular mobility training can help. This simple yet effective exercise routine increases the range of motion in various parts of the body, leading to greater comfort and less strain throughout the day. So rather than struggling with stiff or sore muscles, try incorporating some of these mobility training exercises into your routine! Who knows, you might feel more mobile, energetic, and pain-free in no time!