Mobility training is beneficial to any type of workout but is often overlooked. Mobility training has many benefits that gym enthusiasts often miss out on. Increased mobility, will help prevent the development of chronic injuries and can even help you to avoid training plateaus. In addition, mobility helps to remedy existing injuries, and improves your overall form as well as performance. Here is why mobility in training is so important:
What is mobility?
Mobility (not to be confused with flexibility), refers to the strength of the muscle in a particular range of motion whereas flexibility refers to the ability of your joints to move pain-free and without stiffness through a particular range on motion. For example, flexibility is when you are able to lift your leg further with the assistance of your arms. However, when it comes to mobility, you are able to control the whole range of motion with just the muscles. For example, with mobility, you would be able to control the entire movement of the leg with just the leg muscles. Unlike flexibility, there is no requirement for any assistance to perform the move.
The importance of mobility
Mobility in training is considered essential because it prepares one’s body for the stress of training. It is a crucial contributor to reducing the risk of injuries as well as improving technique and range of movement. It is important to keep in mind that strength alone will not be enough to have good mobility.
When to do mobility training
It is important to establish when will be the best time to do some mobility training during the course of your workout. Majority of us will do our warm-up exercises and then go straight into our resistance training but, it is the time in between the warm-up and weight training that is important. This is where the mobility training needs to come in.
How mobility training benefits your workout
- A more effective warm-up
Mobility training is beneficial to your workout in ways that a quick warm-up is not. During mobility training blood is being moved to the surrounding tissues. Synovial fluid, which is the fluid found in our joints that helps our joint to glide freely, is carried into the working joints. An example of this would be to perform hip circles to warm up the hips, the blood is transported to the hip flexors, glutes and external rotators (the muscles that move the legs). Synovial fluid lubricates the hip in preparation for exercise.
- Reduced risk of injury
One of the major benefits of mobility training is the reduced risk of injury. If there is any restriction to a moving joint, then there is a high risk of injury.
- Improved technique and range of movement
Mobility training benefits your form. When muscle and joints are more flexible, we get an increased range of motion. This then allows us to perform exercises with better technique and work the target muscle through the entire range of motion – not only in certain ranges/positions. This helps to improve functional movements and strength as a result.