What if there was a method to break through the plateau in your fitness, diminish the frequency of those aggravating aches and pains, and gain access to the next level in your training? And what if it was all so much easier than you thought- a life changing component of movement you can add to your lifestyle that makes ALL the difference to your fitness level, your sport performance, and your overall well-being? Well there is, and you might be surprised at just how simple this performance increase can be.
I’ll let you in on the secret. Mobility.
Mobility is one of the most underrated yet incredibly crucial aspects to any successful athlete, or any progressing gym rat.
Exercise is great, but exercise without proper mobility will not only keep you from progressing in your fitness goals but can contribute to improper movement, muscle imbalances and substantial injuries.
Squatting is great, but if you don’t have the proper range of motion throughout your joints, you can show up at the gym every day and never progress towards your goals but end up straining muscles that are compensating for your lack of mobility.
Mobility is essential for any successful athlete. An effective mobility program improves the athlete’s ability by enhancing strength, stability, and tissue quality, which all serve to maximize their training experience and sport participation (Brooks et. al, 2013). This means stronger lifts, faster runs, and movement that feels RIGHT – movement that works harmoniously with your body to enhance your health, strength and performance instead of hurting it.
Worth 10 minutes to set aside? You could opt for countless hours in rehab instead…
Mobility is a must for avoiding injury. The lack of proper mobility in sport has been proven time and time again to be the leading cause of soft tissue injury, reactive scarring, and faulty adaptations the body will make in order to deliver the demand placed on it (Wang, H. K., & Cochrane, T., 2001). Gaining proper mobility is your number one defense against avoiding not only sport related injuries, but any sort of injury related to improper movement (Brooks et. al, 2013).
Consider for example the squat – a necessary lift in the field of strength and conditioning. The squat has biomechanical & neuromuscular aspects related to a range of athletic movements and must be included as a core exercise for any program designed to enhance athletic performance. However, these benefits are only accessed with proper mobility. Squatting with poor mobility can cause muscle and ligament sprains, ruptured intervertebral discs, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis (Schoenfeld, 2010).
To some, a squat is that first exercise you’ve performed every leg day for the past 5 years, but to the informed elite – the squat is the important movement that requires proper mobility throughout the hip, spine, knee and ankle complex. For example, a high degree of ankle mobility is essential for balance and control in both the descending and ascending phases of the squat. Without this proper ankle mobility, the athlete risks compensatory joint movements of the ankle, knees, hips, and spine, potentially leading to injury when squatting under external load (Schoenfeld, 2010).
Mobility is not only the backbone to any successful athlete, the reason behind every new broken track record, and the grounds behind Paul Anderson pulling 1,104 lbs off the ground while performing a deadlift, but it is also the recipe for a sculpted, highly aesthetic and strong body. Mobility contributes to proper muscle formation by increasing range of motion and muscle activation, leading to more fluid movements and increased strength potential. Not to mention extra training vigor as mobility decreases the risk of injury, soreness and joint pain (Pohlman, 2016).
Efficiency and Mobility go together like meat and potatoes, the fastest and most efficient route to your strongest and most durable self is a proper mobility routine. Ready to start? Check out our program Training for the Developing Soccer Athlete + Consultation – High Definition Conditioning & Performance (hdcperformance.com) and opt for the one-on-one coaching experience to jump start your way into the best version of yourself.
Brooks, Toby PhD, ATC, CSCS1; Cressey, Eric MA, CSCS2 Mobility Training for the Young Athlete, Strength and Conditioning Journal: June 2013 – Volume 35 – Issue 3 – p 27-33
Pohlman, D. (2016). 6 Benefits of Consistent Mobility Training [Blog]. Retrieved from https://manflowyoga.com/blog/6-benefits-consistent-mobility-practice/
Schoenfeld, Brad J Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise Performance, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: December 2010 – Volume 24 – Issue 12 – p 3497-3506 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181bac2d7
Wang, H. K., & Cochrane, T. (2001). Mobility impairment, muscle imbalance, muscle weakness, scapular asymmetry and shoulder injury in elite volleyball athletes. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 41(3), 403-410.