Mobility is how well you can move a limb through the full range of motion with control. In essence, mobility is voluntary movement that capitalizes on your flexibility. Being able to use your full range of motion while performing a strength building exercise first requires flexibility, and then mobility is used to move the load through your full range of motion utilizing strength.
Mobility training builds both typs of muscles at work in our every movement:
- Agonist muscles: which cause the movement to take place
- Antagonistic muscles: muscles that oppose the movement and determine the amount of flexibility
Mobility training is referred to as active flexibility or dynamic stretching and as explained above is also a form of strength building.
Dynamic stretching uses speed of movement, momentum and active muscle movement to bring about a stretch. It is a good way to prepare for physical activities that demand power and speed. It is important to be careful and not exceed the current range of motion of the joints being limbered. Start with the movement at half speed for a couple of repetitions and then gradually work up to full speed.
Mobility training stimulates and circulates the synovial fluid in the bursa (a small, fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction in the joints). Since the joints have no direct blood supply, they are nourished by the synovial fluid, which dissolved and disperse joint salts, or calcium deposits with the high-repetition controlled movements.
Mobility training is used to improve range of motion to the:
- Trunk and shoulder blades
- Feet and toes
During mobility training muscles generate more internal tension and metabolic stress when utilizing a larger range of motion, and thus, your joints can recover more effectively when they aren’t consistently worn in the same position.
Mobility training benefits include:
- Increased flexibility
- Improved range of motion
- Overall healthier joints
- Reduced muscle stiffness
- Greater muscular stress and tension
- Increased muscle mass
- Reduced joint injury
- Improved lung function (It is important to breathe easy during these exercises)
- Improved cardiovascular function
One of the mobility training tools we employ here at Performance Revolutions is the TRX© Suspension Trainer. This is a full-body performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to develop strength, endurance, balance, flexibility and stability. It is scalable to use with people of all ages and fitness levels.