What Is Mobility Training: Everything You Need To Know

Want to move more freely and feel looser? There are a lot of things that can make your muscles and joints tight, like lifting weights, running, calisthenics, biking, etc. Even certain daily activities can make you feel stiff, and the best way to fix this is with mobility training. Mobility training has a lot of benefits and helps you with a lot of things in your everyday life, but many athletes ignore it, and they suffer the consequences.

What you will learn:

  • What is mobility training?
  • Why you should do mobility training
  • Benefits of mobility training
  • Different ways to train mobility
  • Example mobility exercises

What is mobility training?

Mobility training is a training approach that focuses on increasing joint flexibility, stability, and your overall range of motion. Unlike normal static stretching you might be used to, mobility exercises adopt dynamic movements, actively pushing muscles and joints across their complete functional range. The main goal of mobility training is to move freely and effectively, improving posture, balance, and coordination. Mobility training proves beneficial for individuals of any fitness level and age, not only helping prevent injuries by addressing muscle imbalances but also enhancing athletic performance and overall functional movement patterns.

Why you should do mobility training

Why should you do mobility training? It’s like giving your body a tune-up. Instead of just building muscles or boosting endurance, mobility exercises focus on making your joints more flexible and helping your body move more freely. This can have a big impact on your daily activities and even enhance your performance in sports or other physical activities. By including mobility training, you’re not just working out; you’re investing in smoother, more efficient movement and overall well-being.

Benefits of mobility training

  • Promotes Good Posture: Mobility training actively promotes proper alignment and balance in the muscles and joints, which can help people whose jobs require them to sit at a desk for long periods of time.
  • Injury Prevention: Mobility exercises can help avoid injuries and knots by correcting muscle weaknesses and making joints more stable. They lower the risk of injuries that come from both a lazy lifestyle and hard workouts.
  • Tension Relief: Mobility training is a helpful way to reduce stress for people who are tense because they are too active or don’t move around enough. It also helps with relaxation and general health.
  • Better Functional Fitness: Adding mobility exercises to your workout routine will help your overall functional fitness, which will make your daily tasks and workouts more fun and effective.
  • Increased Range of Motion: Mobility training greatly expands your range of motion. This helps you stay busy and healthy as you age, leading to a more enjoyable and rewarding lifestyle.
  • Healthier joints: Because your joints are proactive, mobility routines help keep joints healthy in the long term by preventing them from breaking down.
  • Aches and Pains Prevention: Mobility training is a key part of avoiding aches and pains, making your body healthy and more comfortable.
  • Strength and Adaptability: Regular movement training makes your muscles and joints stronger and more flexible, which improves your body’s ability to handle different physical tasks and demands.

Different ways to train mobility

myofascial Release:

Guy using a massage gun

Working on the fascial tissue around muscles is an important part of mobility training. Applying pressure to the fascia with tools like massage sticks, foam rollers, or lacrosse balls allows tightness to be released, which leads to better flexibility and range of motion. Myofascial release helps people regain movement and lowers their risk of injury by releasing knots and tightness in the muscles.

Dynamic stretching:

Guy training mobility with a resistance band

When you do dynamic stretching, you move your body in controlled, repetitive manner. Instead of holding a position during static stretching, you move continuously through the whole range of motion during dynamic stretching. As a result, this method improves blood flow, flexibility, and joint movement. Dynamic stretches work best as part of a warm-up exercise before doing more intense physical activities.

Calisthenics Training: 

Guy doing front lever in his front yard

Because callisthenics is a bodyweight-based exercise, it naturally includes parts of mobility training. Movements like lunges, standing squats, and yoga-inspired poses work out many muscle groups at once, which improves balance, coordination, and flexibility. By combining strength and flexibility movements, callisthenics training promotes optimal mobility in all areas. This type of training can be modified to fit individual needs and goals. Adding callisthenics to your routine will not only help you move around better, but it will also improve your functional strength.

Example mobility exercises

Shoulder mobility: Big Shoulder Circles:

Big shoulder circles are a fluid and dynamic exercise to promote shoulder joint flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Stand or sit with an upright posture.
  2. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
  3. Initiate a circular motion with your shoulders, moving your arms in large circles.
  4. Perform 10-15 rotations forward, then reverse the motion for an additional 10-15 rotations.
  5. Focus on maintaining smooth, controlled movements and gradually increasing the size of the circles.

Hip mobility: Hip CARS (Controlled Articular Rotations):

Hip CARS are dynamic exercises designed to enhance hip joint mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your right knee, flexing it towards your chest.
  3. Rotate your right hip outward in a circular motion, keeping the movement controlled and within a pain-free range.
  4. Complete 5-10 rotations in one direction, then reverse the motion.
  5. Switch to the left leg and repeat the sequence.
  6. Perform the exercise smoothly and with deliberate control to maximize its effectiveness.

Lower body mobility: Lunges

Lunges are versatile exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, enhancing lower body strength and flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Stand tall with feet together.
  2. Take a step forward with your right foot, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and your back knee hovers just above the floor.
  4. Push off the front foot to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the left side.
  6. Perform 10-12 lunges on each leg, gradually increasing intensity as you become more comfortable with the movement.

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