Why Mobility Training Is Everything
If you don't already include mobility work in your regular workout routine, you could be missing something big.
What does mobility actually mean?
Defined as ‘the ability to move or be moved freely and easily’ mobility might be one of those words you don’t often hear but is essential in helping you get the best workout you can. “Mobility underpins and determines all of the movement we have access to” says Matt Cunningham, Specialist Performance Trainer at Workshop London. “When most people hear the word, they usually think of how ‘flexible’ or ‘bendy’ someone is. But in reality, it’s actually defined by the strength and control we have over the current ranges of motion we have available in our bodies.” So, in other words, if your mobility isn’t great to begin with then your workout is likely to be limited and not achieving the results it could.
Why is it important to stay mobile?
Age and external lifestyle factors mean that our entire collagen synthesis slows down as we age. Cartilage cells lose their ability to produce new collagen and so over time we lose density and our joints begin to ache. This natural degradation means we inevitably start to lose mobility and it gets harder to move as easily and freely as it once was. If you couple that with a slowing down of general movement anyway and a decrease in exploring the natural range we were born with, it’s easy to see why we become more and more restricted in our ability to move freely.
How can we become more mobile?
The good news is that improving mobility is easy enough if you get into the habit of making it a part of your daily routine. “Apply your tooth brushing philosophy to your joint health,” advises Matt. “If you don’t at least use the range of motion you have available to you once a day, your body will start to lock it off slowly over time and joints will start to become immobile.” So how do we do it? “This is where the joint-care system of Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) comes into play,” says Matt. “This is just a fancy fitness way of saying a rotating your joints to their fullest. Every joint in the body has a rotational movement capacity - from our toes and ankles, to each single vertebra in our spine. By taking an individual joint through its full capability, we nourish it with its full range, communicating to our nervous system that we still need it.”
What impact will it have day-to-day?
“You’re essentially unlocking your body, gaining more control over it and getting stronger all at the same time, which is a massive win for anyone at any level. The system also opens up more options for exercise selection, as we will have earned the requisite mobility to move in a greater variety of ways,” says Matt.