To say that there is one type of mobility training is an understatement. Contrary to what many movers and trainers believe, mobility training can be divided into several categories for several different objectives. However, there are a few concepts that will always influence our movements and the outcome of our training sessions.
This one I’ve been rambling for weeks now, so I won’t get into it. Nonetheless, it needs to be mentioned.
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Yes, mobility is essentially strength. To be categorized as mobility, a given exercise must contain strength elements. And how does one apply strength elements for mobility purposes? Simply by overcoming barriers, obstacles. In this case, by working at maximum ranges.
This is where we enter other aspects of mobility training, which is flexibility. To use all of the available workspace in a joint, we consequently improve flexibility to some extent.
Now, inside the realm of Mobility, there are different goals to choose from, according to the practitioner. While some people need to improve motor control, others need to improve their range of motion. Still, others need to improve resistance in a given angle, such as ballerina holding her leg up, for example. These are not the same thing.
I will expose a few different important aspects (in my opinion) so that mobility training flows in a sustainable way.
there are exercises that will improve the amount of nourishment our joints receive. Also, they will help to maintain one’s current ranges of motion. These are rotational exercises where you actively move the joint in every possible direction that it can. This exercise stimulates an abundance of neural activity coming from the articular capsule, which also helps to regenerate possible mild injuries.
However, there comes a time where rotational movements themselves cannot improve performance in a given joint. Hence the need for expansion.
Exercises that expand the range of motion fall into several different categories that will differ according to difficulty. One should understand the differences between the various types of muscle contraction and their effect on the tissue. Here, I will only explain that expansion exercises should follow a logical progression from the less inflammatory type of contraction to the more inflammatory.
These exercises mix in with expansion. Following a logical progression of adaptation, when we unlock new angles of movement, we then need to learn to control our body in that newly acquired range. That’s where controlling exercises come into play.
I am separating these categories for didactics, but in practice, they often easily get mixed together. To properly train these effectively, the trainer needs to apply the concepts of physiology to these progressions that I’ve mentioned. There is no one correct way to apply these concepts, provided they are thought of during your training. In the end, what you do needs to be properly explained and it needs to make sense.
It is relevant to mention that, once a certain level of functionality is reached, you need to ask yourself the motives behind going into extreme levels of mobility. Always remember that reaching extreme levels of mobility might come with their fair share of consequences. So we have to often ask ourselves what we truly want from a specific mobility level.
To finalize, there is a section of mobility that holds a developmental goal. There are methods of training that focus on binding movement to brain function. These methods often include positions of motor development and combine different sensory stimulations. For example, combining eye gaze, head control, diaphragmatic breathing, and body movement.
These methods are powerful allies to prevent or fight neural disorders, hormonal imbalances, or even emotional distress. And guess what, they are the easiest ones to practice.
If you’re asking what are my references, seek Original Strength Systems or Functional Range Systems.
If you are interested in any of the concepts above, or if you have any comments or feedback, just drop me a comment below. I’ll be happy to chat.
Have an awesome Saturday,
Strength to you!