Hey! – Rob here 👋🏼
Your Daily Health Fix today is about …
Mobility Training & Flexibility
Most of us know we could do a little more self-maintenance for keeping limber and pain free – and often finding the time in addition to sustaining an exercise routine is challenging.
Todays note aims to clear up the confusion between different protocols so that you spend your time effectively and maximise results.
When to use MASSAGE
Massage, including self-myofascial release (think foam rollers, massage balls etc) can be useful for targeting trigger points, for inducing blood flow to an area, and for breaking up scar tissue.
Massage techniques are best used for acute pain relief, but won’t offer any long term gains.
Similarly, foam rolling on it’s own may feel nice, but the effects are short lived. Myofascial release can be useful however if used immediately prior to stretching techniques.
When to use STRETCHING
There are various forms of stretching, including static stretching (holding a stretch position for a set amount of time), dynamic stretching (pushing deeper into a stretch position and then releasing from it or bouncing out of it over a number of repetitions), or PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) (combining static stretch positions with intentional muscular contractions).
All types of stretching can be beneficial for increasing the length of a muscle, or to return a fatigued muscle to its natural and normal shape and size. Just like massage techniques, stretching can also provide some immediate relief from discomfort and pain.
Stretching on it’s own though also carries risks of permanent ligament and nerve damage so should be performed cautiously and at a low intensity.
When to work on MOBILITY
In many ways mobility is best described as ‘flexibility in strength’. Unlike passive stretching which just extends the resting length of a muscle, mobility training targets the usable and strong range of motion of any limb or joint.
Being flexible without having strong and coordinated movements can be just as problematic or uncomfortable as being restricted and ‘tight’.
Mobility training aims to ensure that we are strong and agile in any position or with any movement. – Ultimately good mobility is what keeps us in top condition.
You can (and should) do mobility work every time you train. Whether you’re performing a traditional lift, or practicing a dynamic fast exercise, being conscious of the end ranges of (your) motion and intended direction of the joint in question, will in time build an intrinsic stability that can handle anything you throw at it.
Work accurately and mindfully to fully use your range of motion across all movements.
Try this –
If you’re limited for time, don’t pay too much attention to massage techniques or stretching – Use these as tools in times of need.
Focus on improving your mobility with every workout. If you’re struggling to fully straighten your arms or legs, or are restricted in a rotational movement, break it down so you can improve the foundations of your movement. The same goes for being able to lift yourself or a weight at the bottom or top of a movement.
Use less weight or resistance, go slower, temporarily isolate a part of the movement to practice it, or even introduce a complimentary exercise in order to strengthen a movement or practice your coordination.
Train intentionally, not habitually. Pay attention to each element, where the effort is coming from, the direction of a landing, or that you are bending, twisting or holding static in the right places.
Adding mobility training into your current exercise routine shouldn’t require more time per session, just mindfulness, awareness and focus. The results of such attention will show quickly, not only in improved performance, but by quicker recovery and less frequent or elimination of injuries.
. . . That’s it for this dose,
Until the next time – Stay Motivated!💪🏼
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