As humans, our body is meant to move freely, naturally and in any which way it pleases. It is fake news that joints & muscles should only move in a singular plane of motion, termed, ‘safe’ movement patterns. It is important to note that our body is exceptionally intricate and should be able to move in almost any direction & plane of movement it so chooses. Mobility is what will determine whether the above is possible. We were mobile as children, but over the years due to various factors such as posture, sitting most hours of the day, training in repetitive planes of motion, injuries and weak core muscles, our mobility has decreased leaving us stiff, sore, niggling with pain and incapable of moving freely and with ease. Mobility is important for various reasons including the strength of your joints and their full range of motion, the ease of movement in your muscles, moving pain-free & injury free despite the range of movement you ask of your joints & muscles.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO IMPROVE MY MOBILITY?

Ask yourself a few questions;

  • Am I able to sit in a deep squat position for more than 60seconds?
  • Am I able to touch my toes with ease and not only when warm from exercise, whenever I want to?
  • Am I able to support my own bodyweight upside down on my hands for 20-30seconds with my feet elevated on a step?
  • Am I able to rotate, extend, flex & bend my hips, shoulders, spine & neck in all directions with ease?

If you have answered YES to all the above, then your mobility is good, WELL DONE! If you answered mostly NO, then please continue reading this blog.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLEXIBILITY & MOBILITY?

Flexibility= has to do with your muscles, their length, tightness & elasticity. This is where stretching mostly plays a part.

Mobility= has to do with your joints, their range of motion, their strength & stability in movement. This is where joint strengthening & stability exercises mostly play a part.

WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING IS MOBILITY TRAINING?

Mobility training involves focused, controlled, targeted exercises directed at your joints and moving them through their full range of motion. You will first go through a screening process to access which of your joints lack mobility, stability & strength. Once highlighted, you will then perform various exercises to improve the strength & stability of your joints in the full range of movement that they are meant to perform. Examples of Mobility training include internal & external rotation exercises of your shoulder joint & hip joint with load (resistance). Controlled shoulder & hip circles (rotations), loaded (resistance) flexion & extension exercises of your shoulder & hip joints.

WHEN & HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO MOBILITY TRAINING?

Prioritize your weekly training like this;

Priority 1: Build healthy strong joints (3-4 times a week for 15-20mins per session)

Priority 2: Build functional muscle & strength (directly after your joint training 3-4 times a week for 30-40mins per session)

Priority 3: Build cardiovascular fitness (3-4 times a week for 40-50mins per session)

By following these in order, you are going to get mobile, strong & fit. In that order, that is the priority. Think of it this way, our joints are the joining blocks to our bones, muscles & organs. Without strong stable joints, our bones, muscles and organs won’t have a strong and stable base to attach to and work from, TRAIN YOURSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

WHAT WE OFFER AT SANDOWN SWEAT TO IMPROVE YOUR MOBILITY

At Sandown SWEAT, we keep a close eye on our client’s ease of movement, agility, stability & strength. We are trained to spot weaknesses in the body & provide solutions to improve joint stability & strength. When we start with a new client, we access your movement capabilities and then when setting primary goals around losing fat, getting fitter or getting stronger, we always include a goal to improve your mobility and get you back to how your body is intended to move. We have over a decade of experience in training clients and have “seen it all” when it comes to movement or the lack thereof.

Interested to find out more or book a Mobility assessment session?

Email: hayley@sandownsweat.co.za

“Yours in Mobility, Strength & Fitness”

Hayley Ryan

Movement Coach & Studio Owner (Sandown SWEAT)