We have all heard the word and have done it in the gym, but do we actually know what mobility is?
By definition, mobility is the quality or state of being mobile. Mobility prepares our bodies for the work we do inside and outside of the gym by making us stronger and more flexible, which can prevent injury. Some of us have been injured before. Maybe you hurt your shoulder during a workout doing pull ups. Or maybe you hurt your back at home when you were taking out the garbage. After the injury, you probably thought about what you could do to make the pain go away and how to heal as fast as possible. It’s likely that you had to sit out of certain workouts or take time away from the gym completely. Getting back to 100% may have taken a few weeks, or even months, and it was probably less than fun. If you had been doing mobility regularly, you may have avoided that injury.
Mobility does not have to be expensive or take a lot of time out of your daily routine. Most exercises require little to no equipment and only 10-15 minutes of your time. Some common mobility tools are lacrosse balls, bands (that we use for pull-ups), foam rollers, and PVC pipes. Exercises can be as simple as a stretch or more complicated by using more than one mobility tool and a partner. You may not even realize you have issues or restrictions. If you want to find your level of mobility, there are numerous “tests” you can perform to assess where you are and what you need to improve upon. These tests isolate certain muscles and muscle groups to show your weakness. Because there are so many different diagnostic exercises and so many mobility strategies, talk to one of your coaches if you are having a problem or need suggestions.
Practicing regular mobility can fix movements, which will improve your performance in the gym. It can also help you in your everyday life. And isn’t that why most of us are here in the first place, to improve our general well-being? Now that we have a better understanding of what mobility is and why we preach it in the gym, let’s get mobile!
— Alicia Van Balen