Concerned about your mobility and wanting to know how to increase it? We have useful information on the importance of mobility and how you can improve it. Ultimately by having good mobility you can decrease your risk of injury through improving your flexibility and range of motion.
What is mobility?
Mobility simply refers to a person’s ability to move. More specifically it is about how well we can move our bodies (joints and muscles) freely through their full range of motion. Someone with good mobility can move into and out of challenging positions better than a person with poor mobility.
Why is this important to us?
As humans, we are born to move. Our bodies and brains need movement to function optimally. It is a natural state of being for us.
Poor mobility must be avoided because it can lead to acute injuries from falls and trips and chronic ones such as neck pain, back pain and knee problems. It can also cause lower brain function and poor energy levels.
So, what causes a lack of mobility?
For many of us it starts at school and once we enter the workforce, hunched over a desk or slumped on the lounge after a long day. We sit too much, and we stop moving as much. Our brains forget how to move into certain positions, and movement pathways become less natural.
The phrase “use it or lose it” accurately applies to mobility.
Can I regain mobility?
The good news is if we once had good mobility, it is possible to get it back. Like anything physical it will require a little work, but it can come back and doesn’t require a complex approach.
How to do it?
Exercise professionals categorise human movements into specific groups: Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Push, Pull, Rotate and Gait (crawl, walk, run etc.). If you can perform all these movements with relative ease, you would be classified as having good mobility and therefore on the right pathway.
Performing these movements daily at bodyweight would be a great start. It is essential to start slowly and try to make small improvements every day. If you currently do nothing, just 5 minutes a day of simple movement can be a major step in the right direction.
Other tips include:
- Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes whenever possible. Even a simple stand up, shake of the shoulders and reach up to the sky will significantly change your overall mobility levels over time.
- Incorporate daily stretching. By targeting the joints instead of the muscles, you will increase your mobility. Hips, shoulders and the thoracic spine are the big three to start with.
- Try yoga movements. They are a great example of mobility exercises that have proven outcomes. Active stretching, where you move into and out of a stretch position is a fantastic way to increase mobility.
Overtime you will be able to use higher loads of resistance and perform more complex movements.