You might be asking what the importance of mobility and injury prevention training is and why you should be doing it. The question really is, do you want to make life easier, daily movements stronger, and reduce your risk of injury? If the answer is yes to any or all, the simple answer is start mobility training to better perform at your lifestyle right now. Trust us, you will be asking why you didn’t start a long time ago.
Maybe you are saying I stretch every day or are asking what is mobility training? Flexibility and mobility are not one and the same.
Flexibility is your body’s ability to elongate to a certain position with or without an external force in a passive or relaxed state.
Example of flexibility: You place your arm against the wall and turn away from your arm using the wall to give you a deep stretch.
Mobility is your body’s ability for your muscles, bones, joints, and other connective tissue to actively move through a range of motion.
Example of mobility: You raise your arm away from your body as far as you can without the aid of the wall.
Flexibility and mobility can impact each other, but they are not the same nor have the same benefits. For this article we will share 7 benefits to mobility and injury prevention training.
The good news
You can easily start now and you do not need any equipment. You can start with this simple exercise to give yourself a mobility reality check.
Stand with your back to the wall, step your feet approximately one foot from the base of the wall and try to keep your entire back flat against the wall (even your low back). Now raise your arms overhead and try to press them into the wall without your back coming off the wall. How did you do?
For those lucky enough to have your hands and arms reach flush against the wall, great job! You passed the first test. But we encourage you to keep reading, certainly some gems for you too.
Many of us probably gave it a go, were not able to come close to the wall, and came back to slouch in front of our computer screen. You see, that is one of the main culprits. Modern lifestyle has us sitting down shoulders rolled forward, tightening our chest, sticking our necks out of our shell, and maintaining this posture for hours throughout the day.
These postures and habits lead to tight muscles causing pain and tension in places like our necks and upper back, muscular dysfunction, and even injuries.
Ok ok, enough about that stuff, let’s get to the good stuff. The good news is you can take simple steps to improve your mobility and start to feel better right away. Check out our injury prevention and mobility series for excellent options.
7 benefits of mobility and injury prevention training.
#1 Reduce pain
Often pain comes from tight muscles, muscular imbalances, locked up joints, or other issues that can be improved with mobility and injury prevention training. As you train for mobility, you loosen up and strengthen dysfunctional muscles and postures. In addition, you release synovial fluid (your body’s natural lube) in your joints to help them glide and function properly. All which can reduce or eliminate pain you are experiencing.
#2 Move better:
This one is kind of a given. Mobility, move, almost one and the same. However, that is the whole point with mobility training. You train your body’s natural range of motion for common daily movements to reduce your risk of injury on a daily basis.
In addition, you make life easier and more enjoyable. Carrying the groceries, grabbing something from the cupboards, lifting or moving heavy objects like furniture, playing with kids or pets, you name it, most of life is using a wide range of movements with active muscles.
#3 Reduce your risk of injury:
How many times have you heard of someone throwing their back out lifting something in an awkward motion. It didn’t even have to be something heavy but it was a motion they were not prepared for.
Hurting their shoulder or elbow lifting a child or doing something casual with friends. All of this is because the way we train or don’t train does not cross over to our life.
Every day brings about different movements. That is what makes life so interesting. Sure, we have our habitual movements but we have plenty of surprises too. Best be prepared for them.
If you are an athlete or more advanced with your training, mobility is even more important to reduce your risk of injury.
Many injuries occur because your joints or muscles are not trained beyond a certain point. Then one day, you overdo it, go a little deeper, heavier, or try something new and next thing you know you strained or even severely injured yourself. Bottom line is if there is restriction to your mobility whether that is from your joints or muscles, your risk of injury is higher.
#4 Improve your stabilization with mobility and injury prevention training:
Whether you are an advanced athlete or sedentary home body, moving better means performing better. Mobility helps with your stabilization, coordination, agility, and balance. All of which are crucial to living a healthy lifestyle and improving your performance.
Take your sport to the next level with better form and power or be amazed with how many ways you can change the channel and grab your drink from the end table behind you :)
#5 Conquer Plateaus
Increasing your strength through your range of motion can help you push through plateaus. Whether you are a weight lifter, climber, or another sport plateaus can be frustrating. Having an effective mobility plan can help you bust through and take your training to the next level.
Great warm up, cool down, and recovery work. Mobility exercises generally incorporate multiple muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and joints at the same time so are great warm up or cool down exercises and can be very beneficial for recovery.
#7 Constant Improvement:
“I used to be able to do that.” How many times have you heard or said that? Use it or lose it is how it goes with mobility. As we transition from more active lifestyles or training programs, we start to feel our bodies losing some of our previous mobility.
You either get better or worse. So, let’s get better, you can improve your mobility and sustain it with only a few minutes a week. That is right, throughout our mobility and injury prevention training series, most exercises last only seconds.
Conclusion on mobility and injury prevention training
Mobility plays a key part in your overall life quality and performance. Reduce tension and pain, move better, reduce your risk of injury, improve your stabilization, conquer plateaus, and recover better are 7 benefits to starting a mobility exercise routine. You can improve your mobility in as little as seconds or minutes a day.