Good range of motion (mobility) forms the basis for all functional movements in order to be able to perform them with a full range of motion and technically correct.
A lack of mobility is the main reason for poor movement technique and can therefore lead to an incorrect and one-sided load on the muscles and joints.
The lessons of Mobility in our Beginner Course explain the main mobility exercises for joints that most often have limited mobility, namely the hips and the shoulder girdle.
What is the difference between flexibility and mobility?
Stretching works directly on the musculature to lengthen the muscles. This is only possible in exceptional cases, because under normal circumstances the muscles retract to their original shape. With mobility, however, you aim to relax the connective tissue and especially the muscle fascia (this is understood to mean the layer of connective tissue around a muscle) and the connective tissue in the muscle system and the joint capsule.
Tip: Especially during training sessions with a lot of mobility it is important to drink a lot. Our connective tissue is and remains flexible only with sufficient water supply. In addition, mobility, especially due to immobile joints and less flexible muscles, can be very taxing on the blood circulation.
It is therefore possible that you have to pause your training session during mobility exercises more often than with the workouts, because, for example, your blood circulation stops or because you become nauseous. After the mobility exercises, you may be as sweaty as after the workout. Therefore, the mobility exercises during the training session should be performed with the same seriousness and concentration as the rest of the exercises. Only when you concentrate sufficiently on the execution of the movement and on the intensity you will achieve results.
For a number of exercises you should preferably buy a foam roller, a lacrosse ball and two lacrosse balls taped together. A foam roller is a hard foam rubber roller with which you can massage your muscles and their fascia in a targeted manner. When purchasing a foam roller, you will also often receive a poster or DVD with relevant myofascial techniques.
How To Exercise Mobility
Take 2 minutes for each exercise so that you work on your mobility for about 60 seconds per side (left and right).
Depending on the shortening/lengthening of the muscles, a strong stretch and possibly a slight pain may occur early. This is completely normal. Just take your time for the execution of the movement. On a pain scale from 1 to 10 (1 = no pain; 10 = the pain is unbearable) you can easily fluctuate around 6-7. When you have reached your personal limit, breathe deeply and slowly and hold the position for 30-60 seconds to allow the body to release and store the new range of motion of the joint and surrounding muscles.
It is useful to use a timer (eg on your phone), because during mobility exercises you will tend to count faster. And don’t worry if some exercises are difficult for you. People of all ages achieve faster results with regular mobility work.