Mobility Training - The Hype
We get a lot of questions on what mobility Training actually is.
This article is created to answer a few questions we hear and answer a lot.
What is mobility training?
What is the difference between Mobility and Flexibility?
Why is mobility training important? / What are the benefits?
Who should I be doing this?
Foam Rolling? Stretching?
The first question is an easy one to answer.
Flexibility + Strength + Control = Mobility.
Having the flexibility and strength and being able to control that range of motion is what mobility is about. Most people who are super flexible and have good (passive) range of motion, have a greater gap between active and passive ROM (Range Of Motion). With mobility training we would strive to make that gap smaller —> INCREASE Active ROM to mitigate injuries, have more control and strength. Active Mobility is based on a strength training concept. Working the joints and muscles surrounding the joints. Humans who don’t have good passive range of motion usually have a smaller gap between active and passive ROM, therefore working on mobility will usually result in greater overall ROM. Increasing both passive and active ROM with active end range training. With time the gap will become smaller and smaller while at the same time gaining more ROM (controllable ROM).
Moving on to the second question.
Using an example for this one. When you go into a splits on the ground because you have the flexibility to do so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the mobility to do this actively and with control. It just means your CNS allows you to go into this position, because you’ve done it long enough to have gained the trust of your CNS.
I know this can be a tough one to get, BUT there is a huge difference between having good mobility and having good flexibility.
Flexibility is a part of good mobility. Not vice versa though.
So basically the formula: Flexibility + Strength + Control = Mobility is part of the answer for this question as well.
Lie on your back, legs straight on the floor. Grab one leg, the other one stays on the ground! Use your hands to pull your leg towards your chest as far as you can. Both legs stay straight.
Remember how far you’ve come.
Now, put your arms on the ground next to your body, keep them there. Lift the same leg up as high as you can. No external help (No hands, no arching the back, no bending the knees). Keep both legs straight! This is your active ROM, see or feel the difference?
Here you have your passive and active ROM.
*this test is only here to show you the difference. It is no assessment or diagnosis.
Why is mobility training important and what are the benefits of it.
Well first of all, mitigating injuries. The risk of injuring yourself during daily life, activities or sports/training are significantly lower when you have strong and mobile joints, which are prepared for varieties of movement and even movement “accidents”.
Take your ankle for example. Who’ve been doing lots and lots of ankle mobility training. Your ankle has now a good amount of active ROM and is strong in most parts of the ROM you have. Now you accidentally twist your ankle, you might injure yourself, you might not. If you do injure yourself it’s very likely the injury is not as bad as it could be or would be if your ankle wouldn’t be as strong and prepared.
Another great benefit is that strong and healthy joints have the capability of boosting your strength, power and fitness level up a notch. There are lots of athletes using the FRC principles who tell from great strength gains by adding mobility training to their workout routine.
This applies to almost every kind of sports.
Why should I be doing this?
In the end it’s your decision.
It’s a decision that could change your life. You decide on becoming more human again. Moving like we used and ought to move. A decision on improving your personal fitness, for yourself as a human being or/and as an athlete.
The answer from the question before should also give you another reason to jump on the train with us and become part of our team. Together we can boost mankind to another level of fitness.
Who of you guys are foam rolling for fascial or muscular release?
I used to do it a lot during my track “career”. It was part of our training. I’m telling you it was torture for me. My legs were always burning under the attack of the foam roller or ball! Thinking about it now, I think Mobility Training would have been more of a benefit than foam rolling. Foam rolling isn’t bad, it’s just not working the way most of us believe it does. It’s a passive input/force on your body. Passive input leads to passive results. Passive results cannot mitigate or prevent injuries the same way active input does.
Well nowadays I still enjoy foam rolling, but nor fascial or muscular release, but because it sometimes just feels nice. Like a little massage.
Anyhow, I wouldn’t call this mobility training and same applies for stretching. None of this is mobility training. It sure has its place in todays fitness and therapy world, but certainly doesn’t fall into the ‘MOBILITY - CATEGORY’
Apply real mobility training and get real results.
Breathing is a whole topic itself that we cover with clients in our personal training and online coaching sessions.
Breathing has a lot of different facets and can help with max lifting, running, sprinting, mobility training and strength training. Learning about breathing is going to be another booster for your training
Lots of boosts in this post, hope you get something out of it and have some questions covered now.
If you have a topic you’d like us to discuss, send us a message and we will try and incorporate into our next blog posts.
If you’ve been intrigued on mobility training and want to make sure to achieve some new years resolutions for 2019 book your online program NOW!
You’re from Germany and live in Stuttgart or area, book a personal training session to get even more out of it. Personal Training is always the number one option when training for specific needs and results! (It is possible to book more sessions at once for discounts on the PT sessions).
Make good mobility a New Years resolution and work with us on your end ranges! We work passionately with you on your goals, weak links and strength.
Thanks for reading.
We wish you lovely Christmas holidays and a happy New Year!
Leslie and Jan,