By Wendy Cope
You hear the alarm at 6 AM – you roll over and feel a twinge in your knee. Or is it a tightness in your back? Or maybe your hip feels wonky? It doesn’t hurt too much, but it just feels off. Wait a minute… you’re too young to feel old!
Athletes of all ages are learning VERY quickly how little tweaks in your body can derail a workout, and they’re starting to do something about it by incorporating mobility work into their workouts. Mobility deals with the efficiency of movement and the full range of motion surrounding a joint. How far you can squat down and hold it is a function of mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles. The greater your range of motion, the easier it is for your body to move without strain. If your range of motion is limited, you’re more subject to injury. Nobody’s got time for that!
What’s great about mobility is that it can be used at any point during a workout. Because dynamic movements release synovial fluid to lubricate the joints, mobility exercises are great to use as a general warmup for any workout, or even more specifically as a warmup set prior to a particular weightlifting exercise. They can be used between weight sets to increase the range of motion, and they even can be used as a cool-down at the end of the workout.
What’s the difference between mobility and stretching? Whereas stretching involves elongating a muscle, then holding it to increase temporary elasticity in the muscles, mobility addresses muscles and joints by moving dynamically through range of motion, which addresses flexibility and strength and allows a better
quality of movement overall.
No matter what your age or your conditioning, Crunch has a class to get your joints juicy!
Ground Level: Energetic Tabata sets of animal flow-type exercises alternated with core work makes for a fast-paced way to increase your range of motion while getting your heart rate up!
Unbreakable: Hours of hard workouts can lead you to the breaking point. Become unbreakable using yoga straps, blocks, and balls for myofascial release, flexibility, and mobility work.
EVOLVE Ability: Designed for active seniors who want to keep it moving, and pain-free, this class focuses on mobility, stability, and flexibility. This unique workout prevents injury, develops a range of motion, and core stability, and enhances postural alignment.
And when you try some of these classes at Crunch, there are plenty of benefits that you can expect to see:
Greater Strength: Increased mobility strengthens muscles and ligaments that support the joints, which allows you to bear load more readily throughout the movement, leading to more growth and results.
Increased Stamina: Mobility optimizes efficiency, allowing increased range of motion through the joints and their associated muscles. Having joints that move without strain allows you to work harder without overcompensating.
Improved Flexibility: Better range of motion allows you to move without strain or additional force on your
Productive Recovery: Low-intensity exercises help your body heal from other high-intensity forms of training and will add variety to your regular workout routine.
Reduced Risk of Injury. Ever throw out your back when picking up a piece of paper? Mobility helps reduce the risk of injury from everyday activities.
Feel-Good Factor. Working on mobility just flat-out feels great in your body, promoting stress relief and
more positive associations with exercise, which will allow you to stick with training that much longer.
Wendy Cope is the Southeast Regional Group Fitness Manager at Crunch Fitness.
Crunch’s group fitness classes and personal trainers promote a culture of fun with no judgments. It is an environment built for all types of individuals with various goals. Find a Crunch gym near you to try our free trial membership, or join Crunch now.