Mobility Exercises & Their Importance: A Fitness Must-Do You Shouldn't Ignore
Mobility is our body’s ability to achieve a greater range of motion and control its movements. While flexibility is all about the lengthening of our muscles, mobility is about the combined movement created by our bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle groups together. Mobility allows one to have stability and do strenuous activities like lifting weights without getting injured. By practising certain mobility exercises, we can improve our body’s mobility and achieve all-rounded fitness and strength.
Let’s explain to you a little bit about how this works
Everything you need to know about mobility and improving it through mobility exercises
What do mobility exercises do?
Mobility is the degree to which a joint can move before the movement gets restricted by surrounding tissue, ligaments, tendons, etc. We all need mobility in life in order to perform simple movements such as,
– picking up a child,
– throwing a ball,
– picking up trash from the floor and putting it in the bin, and,
– reaching out to get your phone that’s on the other end of the bed, half awake in the middle of the night
– perform viral dance movements (e.g twerking) for your Insta-good-reels
As living beings get older, muscle density, bone health, mobility, etc all start to naturally grow weaker. However, performing mobility exercises allows us to prevent tissue decay, stay fit longer, and enjoy greater freedom of movement even in old age.
Benefits of mobility exercises
Greater Range of Motion
Have you experienced a restriction of movement while trying to perform a squat lower than a certain threshold? Have you also seen some other athletes being able to lunge and squat really deep? That is because of greater mobility. By focusing on mobility exercises, you can squat lower, bend better, manoeuver yourself, get under surfaces and pick up impossible-to-reach things without having to move much.
When a joint and muscle group in your body has lower mobility, chances are that there will be an issue in your form and posture. This may lead to one muscle group performing ‘extra’ movement to compensate for the lack of movement in the other. This is what leads to injury. Performing mobility drills before your exercises allow you to engage all muscle groups and prepare your joints for upcoming movements in the body.
Consistent practice of mobility drills for different joints and muscles in your body will gradually improve your posture. The results often start showing soon enough and only improve your posture over time. E.g, people with a hunched back can greatly improve their lumbar posture with some mobility exercises centred around the lower back and upper back, trapezius area. This is particularly beneficial for the working class of today because of their sedentary lifestyle.
Overall Body Conditioning
Mobility exercises engage multiple muscle groups and train your body to move as a singular unit. It helps you achieve greater coordination between opposite movements of muscle groups as well, e.g, in the dead bug crunch or the bird-dog crunch movement.
The best way to learn mobility exercises
Find the right fitness centre/gym near you
Your best bet to get trained in mobility drills is to find a good gym or sports centre near you. Connect with a qualified physical trainer that can guide you about different joints and the exercises to activate them. It’s important to do even the mobility exercises in the right posture. Please ensure that you start with scaled-down movements and gradually increase your effort level.
Connect with a trained Physiotherapist near you
You may even connect with a physiotherapy practitioner, a sports injury specialist, or even a trained & versatile chiropractor. All of these medical practitioners are trained in the therapy and rehabilitation of muscles and can give you easy routines to follow.
Find an online training program
In the digital age of today, there is no dearth of certified trainers with a great track record. Even if they are not in your area, you can sign up online and get personalized training based on your needs. Not just trainers but many renowned fitness brands offer online training that you can easily sign up for and follow from the comfort of your home.
Trained athletes can log onto Youtube
If you have been working out or training for some time, then you can get free lessons or tutorials on Youtube. Many trained fitness influencers on Instagram and Youtube also provide tutorials on various mobility exercises. However, it is important that you exercise caution and only follow certified trainers and their instructions with the correct form and posture.
What is your fitness routine like? What other practices do you follow on a regular basis to stay fit and healthy? We also recommend that you include Pranayama (Yogic Breathing) exercises for better health. Share your health & fitness routine and secrets with us in the comments below.
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