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Let's get mobile!

Mobility principles

So you want to start training? You need to make sure you have you basic mobility principles in place (it will save you a bundle in physiotherapy bills) not only to prevent injury but also to improve your performance.

But wait! What is mobility and how does it differ from flexibility...and where does stability come into all of this? Mobility or mobilization is not to be confused with warm-up. The primary focus of mobility is to improve positions thereby improving power output and performance. Warm-up is designed to prepare the body for movement, it does not solve positional problems (we'll talk about warm-ups in another post). should be a proactive approach, not a reactive one. In other words, don’t wait until problems arise before you address them. Too often I will see athletes finish a workout that might have hundreds of repetitions of loaded squats or pressing and do absolutely nothing to address the potential issues that are usually right around the corner. Having said that, there’s a great deal you can do to prevent injury, speed recovery, and improve performance.

I mentioned flexibility above...for too long people have been interchanging the two words trying to describe the same thing. That ain't right. Flexibility in short deals with the length of the muscle (see what I did there?) and mobility deals with the range of motion. A person with great mobility is able to perform functional movement patterns with no restrictions in the range of motion (ROM) of those movements. A flexible person may or may not have the core strength, balance, or coordination to perform the same functional movements as the person with great mobility. There are a host of possible muscle imbalances that cause this, but these problems can be fixed with a combination of what I call the three S's—soft-tissue work (foam roll), stretch, and strengthen. It’s important to recognize that flexibility is a component of mobility, but extreme flexibility usually isn't necessary to perform functional movements.

Well here is a fantastic video by Kelly Starrett, author of the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance”.

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