Do you want to maximize your muscle gain? You need mobility training. Do you want to maximize your fat loss? Need mobility training. Get rid of those nagging injuries that have haunted you for years? Mobility training.
We ALL have some sort of injury, or pain we just choose to live with. If you don’t, then you must be young. Just wait. The best way to fight chronic pain is to be proactive about it. I can’t stress that enough. I’ll admit, once I get to the gym I just want to lift weights. I always put mobility work on the back burner.
How to Hack Including Mobility Work When You Hate Doing It
The trick is to change your mindset about what mobility work is. If, like me, you are struggling to make time for it before your workout, think of it as a way to prime the muscles you are about to work. For instance, if you are about to squat that day, and you push some heavy weight, you can’t just jump right into the weight anyways right? So as you're working up to your hard sets, include mobility drills to help activate the muscles that aren’t firing properly. It’ll not only make your squat more optimal in the workout, but you’re also putting the reps in to keep proper movement patterns that’ll help minimize future injury.
Why is This Important?
Taking the group of muscles through an active range of motion in a cyclical fashion allows for temperature and fluid changes in the working tissues to increase the plasticity of the target areas. The progress you are working so hard to make day in, day out is no good if you are getting injured all the time, and can’t even create the proper tension throughout the whole exercise pattern to stimulate the very muscle growth you are trying to achieve!
Mobility exercises are a beyond useful tool for allowing you to increase your years in and out of the gym, skeletal muscle, and correct imbalances. Again, you WANT these results! I’ve taken two weeks off at the gym because I would get annoying low back injuries from squatting without proper warm up. My friend’s text me all the time “Yeah, been nursing this shoulder. It bugs me every time I bench, but screw it...I’ll just keep lifting”. You can’t grow if you’re always aching.
Think about older people you see who are hunched over, seem brittle, and can barely move. We used to think this was just something that happens to all of us as we get older, but it doesn’t! If you don’t use it, you lose it! People end up this way after years of neglect, and not keeping their body in motion, and properly engaging their muscles and joints through a full range. On the contrary, I’m sure we’ve all met that one older individual who just looks peppy. Next time ask them how they look so vibrant. I guarantee they’re taking care of their body through mobility.
Where to Implement It
Include a little mobility work every day, to every other day for 5-10 minutes. You can do it before your workout, or when you are at home watching TV. If you are super lazy like me, and always tend to go right into the workout, I like to do it in between my sets for that workout.
Choose 1-2 exercises for each area that is tight
Upper Body (shoulder girdle)
Upper Body (Thoracic)
Lower Body (Hips)
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each of each exercise. Focus on really activating the area you are trying to work in. Don’t worry about increasing weight or speed. It’s all about connection and increasing range of motion. Each week, make the goal trying to go for a little more range than the week before.