Fix Your Joints, Fix Your Fitness
Stop Ignoring Mobility Work: The Importance of Mobility for Fitness
I have a confession to make: For years, I discredited mobility work as an important part of a fitness routine. Whether you like HIIT, weightlifting, running, or literally anything else, you will be stronger and hit your goals faster with regular mobility work.
My own coaches continually told me mobility was important and I refused to believe them...until I found myself unable to squat because of severe back pain. My squat form sucked, and I was paying the price. One morning during a 5:30 a.m. session, underneath a barbell and in searing pain, I thought to myself: I am not squatting with weight ever again until I perfect the technique.
I kept my promise and got to work improving my range of motion. Meanwhile, I stuck to lower body moves that didn’t require quite as much mobility as the squat. Fast-forward about a year, and I’m proud to say I now squat more weight than I ever could before because I have far better form.
If you’re like I was and think mobility training isn’t important, here are three reasons why you need to start doing mobility work — now!
Better Mobility, Better Lifts
Form first, load second. Most weightlifters have heard this. Many have dismissed it. However, the moment you begin prioritizing your mobility is the moment you begin getting stronger. The deeper your range of motion in a given lift, the more you challenge your muscles during that lift.
An example: Tom does half squats and Bill does full squats. Who’s stronger? Tom or Bill? Thought so.
Plus, when you have good mobility, you won’t have to spend as much time warming up for your workouts. Your body will already be halfway primed — no more, “Ah, I just have to ease into it first.” And boom, you automatically have more minutes allocated to building strength.
Better Mobility, Better Life
While many people start working out for aesthetic reasons, most are quick to learn that hitting the gym not only makes them look better, but it makes them feel better, too. Adding mobility work to your workout routine can enhance those feel-good effects even more.
When you have good mobility, you’ll encounter fewer aches and pains and wake up feeling more limber. And when you feel good, everything — from daily chores to recreational activities to hanging with your kids — is more enjoyable.
Better Mobility, Better Body
I don’t mean better in an aesthetic sense, although that’s a possibility thanks to the strengthening aspect of mobility. What I mean by “better body” is a body with a low risk for injuries. When you stay mobile, you’re less likely to hurt yourself in the gym, while engaging in recreational activities, and during everyday activities.
We all know someone who’s blown out their back while trying to move furniture or otherwise lift a heavy odd object. You can skirt that scenario by improving your mobility, which would allow you to lift the couch with your legs and spare your lower back.
If you want help improving your mobility, contact a personal trainer at your local World Gym.