Mobility is not always the answer

Despite the heading, this blog isn’t intended to suggest mobility isn’t important. In fact Active RX believe mobility is an integral component of exercise and looking after your body. The problem however is mobility, to some, has become the be all and end all as a cause of pain, injuries and niggles. Whilst it might be the case for some it certainly isn’t the answer for all. If you’re feeling tight and have some mobility restrictions work away on them and if you’re finding it is improving your chosen activity even better, keep doing what you’re doing.

The people I’m looking to get through too today are the ones who have gone through all the mobility exercises they could find and either their pain/injury/niggle hasn’t changed or their chosen activity hasn’t gotten better or more comfortable. Sounds like alot of effort for little to no reward!

There are some other factors that should be considered.

Muscle Strength

It’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow BUT maybe you just don’t have the strength yet to complete what you’re trying to do. Sure you might have the technique and patterning nailed down but sometimes you’re just not strong enough for your ego. The good news is, if this is the case progressively increasing your training load should help you improve strength and allow you to work towards achieving your goals.img_7677

Muscle Endurance 

All the technique and the mobility in the world isn’t going to save you if you don’t have the endurance to maintain correct positions and postures. If you don’t have the endurance throughout your workout and default to poor movement patterns and positions then sooner or later little niggles or injuries are going to appear. Don’t be the person that runs 5kms one week and then decides next week to try their hand at a marathon.

Technique

Having the right technique is so important in all forms of exercise. Make sure you know what you’re doing rather than just trying to get through the workout. Making sure know, practise and perfect the basic movement patterns of a deadlift, a squat or any other exercise before starting is going to make sure you stay off the Physio bed and ensure you achieve your goals quicker.

Muscle activation/patterning

Sometimes we’ve ingrained poor movement behaviours into our everyday life which then subsequently can transfer into our training. If you nail technique from the beginning this is less likely (see above point!). It might mean you have to do some rehab exercises to train underactive muscles to start firing and actually doing their job, while overactive muscles may need to be released. Movement patterning is always something that must be considered and rectified if it’s the underlying cause of your problems!

Then there is recovery, and a whole bunch of other factors like nutrition, sleep, stress and hydration that can play a huge role in how our bodies work, play and perform (we will save that for another blog!!!)

So I guess the take-always points are….

  • Leave your ego at the door
  • Nail the technique
  • Don’t overshoot your capabilities just to get a PB.
  • Assess and re-assess your symptoms after an intervention to make sure it makes a difference.

Finally, patience is also going to be key, these changes don’t happen overnight. Developing strength, endurance, motor control and efficient movement patterns can take weeks, sometimes months.

With that all said don’t forget about mobility it’s still an important aspect of training, just don’t forget about all the other aspects that can impact on your body.