If you are a beginner who wants to learn more about Mobility training and wishes to incorporate it into his/her routine then, this article will surely be helpful for you.
Before learning more about Mobility Training exercises, let’s dissect the term “mobility”. What is mobility? Why do my joints need to be mobile? Mobility is the key to longevity. Many factors determine how mobile a joint could be; for example, maximum stretching of a muscle over a joint, the extent to which a joint can move within a joint capsule, and the respective motor control via Central Nervous System. Mobility training not only increases the range of motion of a joint within the capsule but also triggers the Central Nervous System to generate a response. This combined effect is sufficient to enhance the range of motion of a joint by ten folds.
Mobility is a term similar to flexibility but there is a lot of debates related to the differences between these two terms, going on in the fitness world. So, let’s compare joint flexibility with its respective mobility and learn basics before dwelling all deep into the complex procedures.
Mobility vs. Flexibility:
“Flexibility is the capability of a muscle to stretch through a specified range of motion, passively” while, “Mobility is the capability of a joint to stretch through a specified range of motion, actively”. It is critical to note that flexibility exercises will passively stretch the muscles while mobility training is capable of enhancing the respective range of motion of the joint.
Mobility training is more effective than flexibility exercises because it is based on movements and motor control. There are plenty of nerve receptors concentrated around the joint so when we actively stretch a joint, the Central Nervous System resists the mobility movements and that’s why greater benefit could be achieved from mobility exercises as time passes by. One can’t get benefits out of a workout unless he/she can do it actively (himself/herself without external aid). Mobility training is associated with the degree of control or strength in specified positions. It is easier to increase the movement of joints through mobility exercises than flexibility exercises. If flexibility is important then mobility is super-important. However, some mobility training incorporates both flexibility and mobility exercises to improve the overall range of motion.
Benefits of Mobility Training:
Here are some benefits of Mobility Training Exercises:
1) Good Riddance to Muscle aches and tightness:
Muscle aches and tightness could be attributed to a lack of mobility. Mobility is not just important for the fitness junkies but is equally integral for the office workers, delivery boys, and everyone else. If you perform squats or any other physical activity and eventually find your muscles aching, then your muscles and joints are definitely immobile and mobility training is the answer for you. Most of us spend a greater part of our days sitting and using a laptop. Excessive sitting could make your shoulders go round and forward, shorten your hip flexors, and deactivate your hamstrings plus glutes. Holding a static position for long periods causes the muscles to lose their function, this in time starts to cause aches and pains. By performing simple mobility exercises every day for ten minutes, you can help reduce those aches and pains.
2) Goodbye to Bad Posture:
Mobility training mainly stimulates joint movement and motor control. Joint is concentrated with nerves, so whenever a joint holds an incorrect or default kind of posture, during mobility training, the pressure acting on these nerve structures triggers a pain response that doesn’t go away unless the posture is corrected. This pain helps to re-correct bad postures, over time, hence mobility training is good for correcting posture as well.
3) Enhanced Strength:
The strength of a specific muscle depends on the length and tension in that muscle. Mobility exercises help to elongate a muscle and mobilize a joint, which in turn releases the tension in these mechanical structures, opening doors of muscle strength. Therefore, mobility training can also help you lift heavy objects with ease because mobility is not just about flexibility, it’s also about “strength”.
Steps of Mobility Training:
Here are the steps for a beginner to start mobility training:
I. Breath: Laying down and breathing out is the first step of mobility training because it helps to activate the parasympathetic system (rest and digest system). It helps to release tension out of muscles so you don’t activate muscles that don’t need to be activated. Here is how you release that tension from your muscles
- Lay straight over your back.
- Place a pillow below your head to attain a more comfortable position.
- Now, place both hands over your belly.
- Breathe air-in through the nose.
- Next, breathe air-out through the mouth (like you are filling a balloon).
- Feel your belly move as you breathe air in and out.
II. Open Book Position:
This position helps to mobile the upper back portion of your body and it needs to be mobilized because it is the most immobile portion of the body. Therefore mobility training ought to be started with this specific exercise. To attain the open book position;
- First, lie towards one side.
- Place a pillow below your head to relax.
- Take your top leg and hook it over, it will lock your lower back.
- Hold that hooked leg with your hand present below.
- Reach over through the other arm (the top one) and let your shoulder blade and ribcage move forward.
- Now, pull over your arm and shoulder blade in the opposite direction.
- Breathe in as you reach in and breathe out as you open up.
- Perform this, five-times for each side.
This workout not only improves upper back movement but also reduces shoulder pain, neck pain, and lower back pain. It also releases the tension of the upper chest and the neck muscles, so it is an excellent mobility exercise to start with.
III. Hip Flexor Stretch:
Stretching of the hip flexor is important because mostly our flexors get stiff and tight, due to sitting all day. Hip stretches are a game-changer, as it releases the tension in hip flexors and loosens up the tight muscles. Here is how to perform one;
- Kneel your right leg forward
- Stretch your left knee on the floor, while putting pressure on your toes
- Move your hip forward, hold it up for a while
- Feel the space in your pelvis widen as you lean forward
- Repeat five-times at least