If you spend any time listening to the latest in the fitness community you have probably heard the term “mobility” thrown out. So what exactly is mobility training? Mobility training (not to be confused with stretching) is the practice of engaging muscle, tendons, fascia, ligaments and joints to increase range of motion and motor control. We will discuss the three components of mobility training (S3) and what not to do!
Stretching is a component of mobility.
Traditionally, stretching has been the “cure” for tight muscles and movement issues. The issue with this is described in the following analogy. (Which is over-simplistic but great for visualization.)
Think about tight tissue as a knot in a shoelace. When the shoelace is “stretched” the knot gets smaller but tighter so you have to get a fork or other tool to “loosen” the knot so that the lace will have its full range back.
With this in mind, the first component of mobility training is S1 or soft tissue work. Tools like the foam roller, lacrosse ball, or accumobility ball are used to loosen up tight tissue. This enables the potential for increased range of motion and can allow better nervous system communication with the once tight tissue. It is important to note that this is not a permanent change. Think of this like a power up or temporary boost. The tissue has been manipulated and affected but not trained to stay in this position! So for all of you who lay on a foam roller for a 45 minute workout…you may want to keep reading.
Now that the tissue has been loosened and is now more malleable, it is time for part two, stretching. Stretching tissue after it has been loosened up with soft tissue work is key for elongating tissue and reclaiming lost ranges of motion that may impede on joints.
The third and perhaps most critical component for lasting change is the strengthening phase. After tissue stiffness has been reduced and then elongated, it is time to train the new ranges of motion through proper movement and load. This will enable lasting changes to occur and create stability in the muscles and joints.
Putting it All Together
So in short, mobility training is most effective when done in between or after a workout. Unless there is an issue that needs attention, limit mobility before training. Deep soft tissue work will enable a parasympathetic response from the cells, which is not what you want before a workout.
Try this mobility circuit during your recovery time, in between sets on your next leg day to relieve hip tightness. Note: I recommend using lower percentages for this particular series.
Exercise Focus: Split Squats
S1: Soft Tissue work with Eclipse Roller or similar device on the hip capsule (upper right part of quad)
S2: Couch Stretch
S3: Bulgarian Split Squats.
Let us know what you think – we would love your feedback!
Check out https://www.acumobility.com/ for some innovative mobility tools. Available at elevate-nutrition.com
By Addressing His Mobility Restrictions through an Active Mobilization Approach Incorporating the ‘VISE Technique’ We Were Able to Work through the Restricted Tissue While at the Same Time Beginning to Address the Underlying Connection Issue That Were Als. “Active Mobilization and Re-Patterning To Improve Overhead Position and Shoulder Mechanics.” Kabuki Strength Active Mobilization and RePatterning To Improve Overhead Position and Shoulder Mechanics Comments. N.p., 06 Aug. 2016. Web. 01 Oct. 2016.
By Phil Dozois|2015-03-25T11:16:30+00:00March 25th, 2015|Fitness Tips|0 Comments. “What You Need To Know About Mobility Training.” Breakthru Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2016.