For most of us, the definition of fitness starts with exercise and ends with nutrition. Truth be told, there are many other aspects of fitness, we tend to sideline in the midst of our health craze. CrossFit works towards developing every facet of fitness. There’s speed, balance, accuracy, stamina, power, agility, endurance, coordination, strength and flexibility. Yes, the last one does define how fit you are. Yet we tend to keep it at the very bottom of our priority list. Either we think we’re iron clad or give into the laziness to stretch after a heavy workout. Well if you’ve heard about CrossFit, you’ve come across the concept of mobility. So what is it?
Mobility is an injury prevention tool, used to address movement and performance problems. Our muscles work in synchronization to move a joint. One stretches, while the other shortens to allow movement. Even if one of these muscles are tight, balance at the joint is thrown off. This translates to poor form, inadequate range of motion, muscle weakness and eventually injury. That’s where mobility comes in, just like your knight in shining armor. It has to do with strength in the right positions. Mobility exercises help workout the kinks in your body. They are aimed at improving your range of motion while performing a movement, eliminating restrictions and improving proficiency. The better your mobility, the better your form and the more the room to improve in both the strength and endurance domains.
Most people have sedentary day jobs, which require them to sit in front of a computer screen for hours. You may think that’s harmless but it’s not. Your body was built to be mobile. Long hours in a seated position will tighten your hips, core and legs. Your muscles will shorten and your posture will worsen. All these factors coupled are extremely detrimental to mobility. Which is why, including mobility work into your daily training regimen is of utmost importance.
We tend to equate the terms; flexibility and mobility; often using them interchangeably. But in truth, they are distinctive concepts and affect your fitness differently.
Flexibility refers to the ability of a muscle to lengthen. It helps maintain a state of balance and is critical to performance. It can improve recovery, promote long-term health and help agility. There is a common misconception that inflexibility can’t be altered. In truth, if you could teach your body to lift weight or run distances, you can teach it to be flexible. Stretching helps reduce tissue resistance and increase blood flow. Ignoring it could be a call for injury.
Long story short, stretching meagerly focuses on the lengthening of tight muscles. Mobilization on the other hand works towards eliminating the factors that restrict movement and affect the range of motion. They help improve power and output.
The verdict: Why Mobility Can’t Be Ignored:
1. It keeps you safe. Proper joint mobilization translates to a lower risk of injury, better form and full range of motion.
2. It improves the efficiency of your motion. Your joints move in the right manner, allowing for perfect movements.
3. You’ll notice a significant output in your power and performance and consequently your body.
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