Let’s Get Flexible: Reaching Your Goals With Mobility And Flexibility Exercises
Let’s Get Flexible:
Now is the perfect time to sit down and work on some of your fitness goals that you have been putting off for some time now. When you think about your fitness goals though, does it revolves around: fat loss, strength, and endurance? Does flexibility or mobility pop into your head? Flexibility exercises are an often overlooked aspect of your training goals and I think, one of the most important. Reaching your goals requires adequate mobility (range of motion and stability) to decrease your risk to pain and injury. Nothing slows progress to fat loss, strengh and endurance goals than an injury. It’s the perfect time to work on flexibility and mobility now, so that when you get back into the gym, you can hit your workouts without aches and pains slowing you down.
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Mobility: Stability vs Flexibility:
Mobility or range of motion is more of an umbrella term talking about how well you move. Your body is made up of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Mobility refers to how well the joint moves. Flexibility refers to how well your muscles are able to lengthen.
Without flexibility, the muscle will not want to lengthen and your brain will put the breaks on your muscles. This will lead to an overall reduction in your range of motion. For your muscles to work to their full potential (lengthen and contract), you must be able to control them. The ability to stabilise or control your muscles through a range of motion will take the breaks off of them. It will allow them to flex (contract), and Extend (lengthen), to their heart’s content.
The Wall Stretch for Hamstring Flexibility:
- Lay flat on back with both feet up on wall or in doorway
- Slowly lower one leg whilst feeling a stretch in opposite let
Single leg Deadlift with cor activation for Stability:
- Start of standing squeezing a long foam roller between hand and top of foot
- push hand into foam roller and slide leg back as far as possible
- lift behind foot in air
- pause 2 seconds
- return to starting position.
How To Get The Most From Your Flexibility Exercises:
In order to keep your joints and muscles happy, there are three key areas flexibility exercises should focus on.
- soft tissues (muscle release via foam rolling)
- stabilising (strengthening)
Soft tissues: Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage. It may be painful to start off with, but hitting the key areas (Click here) consistently will make it a more enjoyable experience. It will lead to decreased tightness post-workout and help speed up recovery.
Stretching: If you are already particularly bendy, then stretching will not be an essential part of your mobility work. If you do pull up stiff or tight after a workout, some gentle quick (30 secs – 1 min) stretching before your warm up or a longer stretch (1 min+) post-workout will do wonders for your recovery.
Stabilising: Once the new range of motion is created it is important to teach the body to use it safely and effectively. If you don’t use it you lose it, and all the effort in the world on the foam roller, and stretching will be for nothing. Stability drills should be done slowly and controlled to train the muscle on how to work safely and effectively through your added range. These should be done before your workout with an emphasis on preparing the body for movement rather than warming up the body.
Mobility is an often forgotten aspect of training but with regular foam rolling, stretching and stabilisation you can make quick and long-lasting gains in your movement, which will help to fight off injury and make it easier to achieve your fitness goals. If you would like some extra help with mobility or a personalised warm-up program you can contact me via the channels below: