Mobility has been a point of focus for many years, from regular globo gym goers to professional athletes and ever more now with CrossFit and other functional fitness trends making a huge presence worldwide. It’s fair to say that working on mobility is here to stay, and here’s why…
The rise and success of CrossFit and similar functional fitness training has put a huge emphasis on mobility being a component of everyday training programmes. Making it an essential part of training, not just for professional athletes.
People who are focussed on performance, not just aesthetics, can get better results if their mobility and flexibility are right up there with their strength, power and endurance. What’s more is that people are getting clued up and are realising that mobility is not just all about flexibility, it’s a lot more involved.
Mobility improves flexibility, range of movement and aids recovery, amongst other benefits. Connective tissue, called facia, and ligaments also need work besides that achieved from straight forward stretching. What is required is a combination of stretching, mashing, smashing, rolling and flossing joints, working your trigger points, and even complimentary health supplementation.
There’s even a trend towards more quality and specialized gear and equipment to help with working on these techniques and drills to improve mobility, like trigger point therapy kits, massage balls, massage sticks, various foam rollers and a lot more.
So why is mobility so important to performance in athletes? As mentioned above, it improves flexibility, range of movement and aids recovery. Besides that, regardless of your strength and power, if you have limited mobility it would restrict the force you can apply through your muscles and joints, and that results in a limited potential which you really have to offer. Limited mobility could also mean that your body could be compensating for that lack of movement, restricting a full range of required movement (for example an overhead squat and achieving full depth) and even could lead to potential injury at some point, because safer movements are also achieved by correct full range of those movements.
It therefore goes without saying that you need to comprehensively work on mobility as often as possible. Pay enough attention to doing it regularly and researching new and improved ways to enhance your mobility.
A distinction however needs to be made when you are seemingly suffering from “mobility issues”. Mobility is not the only cause of limits on your performance, flexibility and range of movement. Ensuring you are doing enough strength training to build controlled stability in your range of movement is also important. Not warming up before training or competition can also be a problem, as joints, muscles and priming your system for what’s to come is essential. Another culprit which could limit your range of movement and your related performance could also be diet and proper health supplementation – taking the right supplements assists in improving the health of your joints and muscles so that mobility work gains its best results.
Read this great article on the courage of mobility to get more insight into why mobility is so important.