We all have health and fitness goals, but they are usually goals that involve losing weight, gaining muscle, cardio endurance etc. We know the dangers of being overweight. We know why we need muscle. We know that we don’t want a weak heart.
Mobility doesn’t get near the attention that it deserves.
What actually IS mobility, anyway?
It is the ability to move freely and easily, with a full range of motion in your joints.
No matter what we do in this life, if we are stiff and in pain, we can’t live life to the fullest.
As a child, you could run, hop, skip, squat, climb, roll, and flip without even thinking about it. You couldn’t imagine ever getting to the point where you couldn’t even stand up straight. You couldn’t imagine that you might avoid sitting on the floor, because then you would have to get back up and you knew that wouldn’t be comfortable. For some, it is a task that they avoid at all costs because it would be VERY hard. For others, it would literally be impossible.
Think about how you used to move, and how you do now. Is it different? Have you accepted that getting stiff, tight, having aches and pains are all just a product of age?
They aren’t. They are a product of a lack of movement. “Use it or lose it.” When we stop putting our joints through their full range of motion, we will eventually lose that range of motion. We get stiff, and then we want to move even LESS. It just goes from bad to worse and it keeps snowballing.
Many injuries can occur due to a lack of mobility. If you overextend yourself while working out, or even just doing day-to-day activities, you can become injured. Your joints can be hyper-extended, your tissues and muscles can tear, your imbalance can cause you to fall, etc.
This is why, when you are working on becoming fit, you should focus on more than just getting stronger; and more than just being flexible. You need a combination of those two elements along with balance, to be able to have a good range of motion. With proper mobility training, you can strengthen your muscles and tissues, improve your flexibility and guard your ability to move freely and pain-free for your entire life.
The awesome thing is mobility can always be improved! Just moving in ways that you have stopped doing is a great start! Instead of sitting on the couch in the evenings, sit on the floor and stretch. Start with 10 minutes a day. Take a few minutes out of your day here and there and just stretch, squat, hang and reach. Small, consistent steps will make great changes!
Come and join me at CrossFit Viroqua Mondays at 10:15- 11:00 A.M. or Thursdays at 6:15-7:00 P.M. for mobility class! You will leave feeling amazing and learn lots of things that you can take home and do yourself, to improve your mobility!
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