There are extremely effective at-home workouts that you can do and that will serve you well. In our most effective at-home workout series, we’ve taken a look at the benefits of strength workouts at home, as well and the convenient yet effective band workouts at home.
This week we will be taking a look at mobility workouts.
You may be thinking, “Mobility, seriously? How can that be an effective workout?” I don’t blame you. That would’ve been my reaction, too.
So let’s dive in and figure out why mobility workouts can be some of the most effective and beneficial workouts for your overall health.
Mobility is not flexibility, but rather, flexibility and stability combined. Mobility is the ability to move within large ranges of motion with complete control and stability.
In life, we move the many different planes. We move side to side, up and down, and we twist and turn.
If we are weak in those planes, we may be setting ourselves up for a higher risk of injury. I remember the first time this hit home for me.
When I first started to workout out on a consistent basis, I did it to improve the way my body looks, rather than how my body feels. I focused on traditional movements like squats, rows, lunges, curls, presses, etc. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with those movements. In fact, they are staples that should be a part everyone’s routine. But, by obsessing over the movements I wanted to use in order to make my body look better, I neglected the movements that would make my body move better.
It all hit me when Aslan (our dog) tried to bolt in the middle of training him off his leash. I went down to grab his collar, requiring me to twist, lean over, and bend down to do so.
As soon as I went for it, I felt a twinge in my back. That’s when I realized that I didn’t matter how many curls I did if I had to hold my back like an old man in my early twenties.
A high quality of life means being able to do the things we do with efficiency, strength, and sound overall health.
Why not just focus on flexibility, and stretching? Well, you should! Flexibility is super important. However, those that are extremely flexible usually have a higher risk of injury because their muscles can’t create strength in those great ranges of motion.
This is where mobility comes in.
Imagine stretching but tensing your muscles at the end range of motion. That is essentially what mobility work looks like.
Unlike traditional deep stretching where you would hold a stretch for 30+ seconds, while doing mobility work, you will work in and out of the stretch for a few seconds at a time.
Let’s go through an example.
One of the most common mobility issues people have is ankle mobility. Their calves are tight, which makes their achilles tight, and thus their ankles are tight. Loosening up the calves will help, but we need to address the ankle as a whole.
The combat stretch is a perfect exercise for this. One on knee, place your other foot out in front of you. Drive that same knee as far forward as you can without your heel leaving the ground. Once you have reached your max range of motion, flex your toes up toward your shin as hard as you possibly can for 5 seconds. Rock back out and repeat again for 3-5 reps.
Here is a video to help you get an idea.
What this movement helps you do is teach your ankle how to create strength in newfound ranges of motion.
Doing work like this on a regular basis will allow you to see more progress in your results as well as help you live a long, happy, and healthy life with far fewer injuries.
See below for a sample mobility workout.
3x5 (with a 5 second hold)
3x5 (with a 5 second hold)
Handcuff With Rotation
3x10 (5 each side)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.