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What the Heck is Mobility? And How It Can Help You!

Posted on: February 19th, 2018 by Kayla Nguyen No Comments



HEY GUYS!

My name is Kayla Nguyen (previously Clarke!) and I’m a physiotherapist who has a love for all things gym/training/crossfit, coffee, cinnamon buns, tacos, and dogs. Oh – and helping people to move and feel better is up there too!

Any of you awesome humans reading this are more than likely already on your health and wellness journey, or maybe just checking out some stuff for some more information! Although this article may not be directly tied to nutrition (ie – all the delicious stuff that goes into your mouth), it certainly has an impact on your move, how you feel, and can be another tool you have in your back pocket to help you be better !

“Mobility” seems to be quite the buzz word these days around the fitness world.

But .. what really IS mobility ?! Do you need it ?! DO you need to be one of those crazy cirque du soleil humans ?! Or is touching your toes good enough ?! Haha

The goal is to clear up the answer to those questions today!

First off:

MOBILITY IS NOT THE SAME AS FLEXIBILITY!

To be technical on you here for a second:

MOBILITY is how much range of motion you have at your joints (ie – how far YOU can raise your arm up) and,

FLEXIBILITY is how far another human can passively move you (ie – how far your best pal can push your arm above your head)

For the purpose of this article, MOBILITY is the focus! Because you can be in control of your own movement 😉

I’m sure your brain is now saying “Ok Kayla – sweet. Mobility means me moving myself. Great. But why the heck does that matter?!”

Well, let me list a few reasons why!

  1. Having adequate mobility is EXCELLENT for your joint health! – Natural movement helps to lubricate joints and keeps them sliding and gliding well (that awesome feeling of not having achey joints!). “Motion is lotion” is what I like to tell my clients!
  2. It helps make exercise itself easier! – Imagine going for a run immediately after being sitting at your desk all day. Your hips for the few minutes are probably like WTF BRO. They’ve been jacked up all day with no movement! Not a runner? Cool, me neither. SO you go to the gym and have to throw some weight up over your head (snatch? Over head squat? DB shoulder press?) But geesh, your upper back are shoulders are NOT happy pandas! Or even yoga, sometimes bending down and touching your toes seems impossible! Now, imagine if you had good / normal range of motion in your ankles, hips, back, shoulders, neck, and even wrists! DANG those movements would seem WAY easier! (and trust me on this – they are!)
  3. It helps to decrease pain, AND decrease your risk of injury! – SO lets say you did a bunch of squats, and you woke up the next morning and your ankles were just killing you. Or maybe you did a lot of over head lifting at the gym, and your shoulders and back seem jacked. If your body doesn’t have great mobility in those joints, yet you keep pushing yourself through these demanding exercise movements, there’s a higher chance of your body getting angry and you getting extra sore – or even worse, you legit do some tissue damage because you were trying to force those joints to do something they just couldn’t handle!

Now I know what you’re saying:

“Alright Kayla: we get the point already, mobility is important for my overall awesome-ness and general health”

DING DING DING, you got it!

So now .. how can you work on that mobility to help you feel awesome and move better?!

Stay tuned for the next article (it comes out on Wednesday!), and I’ll go over my favourite tools to help out with that mobility, and give you a few of my favourite mobility drills to work on!

PS: You don’t need to be the next cirque de soleil star to have decent mobility (in fact, you don’t even HAVE to do yoga!) haha

(This post was originally published on the Staz Fitness site here.)

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