Joint mobility is one of the most popular topics in the health and fitness industry. Ironically, it is also one of the most neglected aspects of training that leads to numerous problems in the long run. Mobility drills should not only be imperative for professional athletes, they should find their way into every type of training regime, regardless of the type of sport or your aspirations.
Failing to work on your joint mobility and overall flexibility as you age and progress through your training career can result in numerous physical conditions down the road, even injury that can set you back significantly. Here are the top five reasons you should spend more time working on mobility.
1. Go into your workouts stronger
Research has shown that adequately warming up and working on your mobility as a part of the warm-up process can influence your overall nervous system and muscular strength, thus leading to higher force exertion for the duration of your workout. Mobility drills seem to be an effective tool for raising your general strength and physical readiness over a prolonged period of time, such as a year of continuous training.
Tracking the changes in your overall performance, whether you are training for strength or physical endurance, is also advisable when incorporating mobility exercises into your pre-workout and post-workout routines. This will allow you to measure your progress and attribute strength, muscular, and endurance gains to mobility drills accordingly.
2. Stay safe and avoid injuries
Even though a proper mobility and warm-up routine is not mandatory to elicit higher performance, it is extremely important to use mobility drills as a preventative measure against injuries that may occur during the training cycle. Building up adequate levels of mobility in your joints through proper warm-ups can significantly decrease the risk of shoulder impingement, hip and lower back injuries, elbow pain, etc.
Sports-related injuries are very common in the fitness community, particularly those physical conditions that accumulate and come to light over a prolonged period of time. If you are emphasizing strength or vigorous endurance training without proper mobility to de-stress the trained areas, you are setting yourself up for an injury at some point during your training career.
3. Become more flexible in the process
Mobility and flexibility are two different terms, however they are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they form a single whole that helps you raise your overall performance, stay injury-free, and exercise full range of motion at all times. By building flexibility and mobility, you will not only preserve the health of your joints, you will also become stronger in the process.
Therefore, your pre and post-workout routine should consist of stretching, foam rolling and myofascial release exercises that will target the tight areas in your body and help you mobilize them. In turn, you will be able to decrease muscle soreness, overall tightness, and improve your posture. This leads us to the next crucial point.
4. Improves your posture
Through exercise, particularly strength training, you are contracting your muscle fibers and your connective tissue, which grows stronger and bigger, but also tightens up over time. The result is the inability to exercise a full range of motion during your workout, or to walk with proper posture outside the gym.
Not only are hunched shoulders aesthetically unappealing, they can spell disaster for your long-term joint health and will impact other areas of your body as well. By rolling the shoulders forward, you are setting yourself up for kyphosis and lordosis. Likewise, failing to mobilize the hips properly will result in pelvic tilting, patellar tendonitis, and numerous other conditions.
Mobility exercises will ensure healthy posture during training, and more importantly, in everyday life as well.
5. A healthier future
Finally, working on your mobility becomes even more important with age. Whether you are a senior looking to elevate your physical fitness, or a young individual looking to ensure a healthy future, incorporating mobility as a part of your everyday life is essential.
Remember, it’s never too late to incorporate fifteen minutes of mobility in the morning and in the evening. In fact, the sooner you begin, the faster you will see progress. You will start to feel more energized and focused, your aches and pains will slowly fade, and you will lead a healthier lifestyle overall.
Mobility training is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy training career, however it is often overlooked and even neglected completely. With these essential benefits of mobility training in mind, you will have no problems elevating your performance and paving the road to a healthier future.