3 Reasons Why Mobility May Be Our Fountain of Youth
Mobility may be the current buzzword in the world of fitness but what exactly is it and could it really be our Fountain of Youth? Let’s zoom in and take a closer look. Mobility as related to fitness is defined as the joint’s ability to move through a full range of motion while being able to control that motion. Here are three ways Mobility may help prevent injury:
In the movement world there are four main types of force:
Ground reaction force (impact)
Mass and momentum (the body and/or an object such as a dumbbell moving through space at various speeds)
When our joints are able to explore their full range of motion with control, we can best distribute these forces evenly throughout our bodies. If we have a joint whose integrity is compromised for any reason, whether it be lack of movement, injury, or too much movement, forces will “zig zag” their way through the body thus overloading some joints while underloading others. The joints repeatedly accepting a load they are not designed to carry may result in injury to that joint. This may happen in a few minutes or may take days or even weeks to manifest.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Our muscles do not work alone, they operate as a system. While standing, raise your right arm up and slightly behind you. If you look down, you will notice your left ankle moved. When our joints have mobility, we are able to move from our center (core) efficiently without energy “leaking” out other joints. This allows us to hit the golf ball further, safely pick up a case of water from the bottom of the shopping cart, and facilitate burning more calories as we move.
There is a difference between feeling sore from a previous workout and feeling stiff. Muscle soreness for a few days following a strenuous workout is normal. When you feel “rusty” or “inflexible”, that may indicate dehydrated tissues. The great news is that Mobility will address both! When our joints move through their full range, fluids lubricate the area and hydrate our tissues allowing slide and glide to take effect. Think of your 5-year-old self-launching across a Slip-and-Slide. Now think how much more fun it would be to add soap to the Slip-and Slide. Mobility adds the soap!
When and how do we train for Mobility? It’s always a great idea to warm up with some Mobility movements. Unweighted and/or lightly weighted large multi-joint movements in all three planes of motion (stay tuned for a separate article on these) will help prepare your joints for what’s to come. It’s also a great idea to do some Mobility movements throughout the day ESPECIALLY before and after repetitive sitting.
We have dozens of classes in the PSK4Life library that will enhance your Mobility. Some of these include PB&J, Functional Flow Yoga (Paula, add whatever classes you’d like). Train your body to mitigate force, use energy efficiently, reduce soreness and stiffness and enjoy discovering your Fountain of Youth with Mobility We hope to see you in class soon!