Good mobility basically means that you can move your limbs with a full range of motion, without restriction. So for example if you have trouble getting low on a squat, your hips and ankles are most probably tight, and mobility exercises for the ankles and hips can help you squat more easily. Maybe you are struggling to get your coat on in the morning or can’t manage to clasp your hands behind your back – in this case a bit of shoulder mobility work could make this a reality.
Modern life can damage your body and mobility helps to lessen the damage
Are you an sitting in the office behind a desk all day? Driving to and from work? Chances are your hip flexors may feel tight and your shoulders and neck are rounded forward and achy from working at the computer all day. Regular mobility exercises can slow the day-to-day stress we put on our bodies, regenerate our tissues and prevent injury.
Stretching just isn’t enough
Your entire body is covered by connective tissue called fascia. When you are inactive and in sustained positions this tissue can get stuck together or thickened and less mobile. Rythmic mobilisers not only help to break up this ‘sticky’ tissue but also help hydrate your tissue making it plum and healthy again. (* you need to drink water of course!)
Mobility will help you to prevent injury
Any area of restriction will prevent easy movement and increase the risk of injury. For example tight and overly active hip flexors will change your posture, pelvic and low back alignment, prevent your glutes from working as they should and even affect your digestion. Not only is your behind missing out on the benefits, but tight hip flexors could also cause you lower back pain.
Mobility exercises give you better results
Mobility exercises are more cost effective than a massage therapist
Deep tissue massages can cost you more than $90 an hour. But you can help those same areas of restriction or trigger points with regular mobility exercises and achieve effective results in only 5 minutes a day.
So to recap and in order to get yourself moving more effectively these mobiliser exercises are a little different from your traditional old school static stretches that were previously recommended to get you up and moving in the morning or racing onto the Netball court.
Physios/trainers/coaches are now embracing the more dynamic form of stretches as they have many benefits.
Here are 4 pointers from our physio as to why we should mobilise……….
- Whole body mobilisers focus on movement of your facial systems. These are the lines of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones and nerves and are responsible for transferring loads, allowing structures to glide smoothly over each other and transmitting movement from muscles to bone. Injuries can cause scarring to your fascia which consequently interrupts its ability to perform its functions. These mobilisations help to break down that scarring.
- Joint movement stimulates and enhances your synovial joint fluid. This is the fluid held within your joints that allows your joints to glide with ease and brings nutrients (and removes wastes) to your joint cartilage. This is particularly helpful for those of you suffering osteo-arthritis and find themselves very stiff on waking in the morning.
- They are functional and global (activating from head to toe). Research continues to show exercise is most effective when it is specific to functional movement. These mobilisations are loosening your joints, muscles and fascia throughout your three planes of movement (forwards/backwards, sideways and rotational) which is how we move in everyday activity, be it walking, grocery shopping or hip-hop dancing!
- First thing in the morning they are mentally beneficial, stimulating those feel good hormones in your brain, raising your core body temperature and providing a mental release to then allow you to focus on your day ahead.
Below is just 1 of our many mobility drills on our website:
As with all exercises make sure you are aware of your breathing.
Join us in class www.pro-align.com.au to “Love the way you Move”.
Physio led Pilates classes are held in Roseville on the North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.