Healthy movement requires adequate joint mobility. Without this, we end up compensating around our limitations, which can lead to numerous problems over time. Even if your primary exercise goal is to get stronger, you must first make sure you have enough mobility to get into the proper alignment so your muscles can work more efficiently.
Take the squat for instance-- in order to achieve the desired depth of parallel or below, we must have enough mobility in our hips, knees and ankles to get into the proper position in the first place. If you start adding weight to your squats without having enough mobility, it can result in movement limitations, inefficient muscle activity and greater risk for injuries. Not to mention, you won't be able to lift as much weight ;-)
What exactly is mobility?
In the dictionary, mobility is defined as “the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.” This is exactly what it translates to when we are talking about human movement.
Mobility is your body's ability to move unresisted through its entire range of motion with proper control and alignment.
Mobility and flexibility are not exactly the same thing, but they are related. Flexility is only one piece of the puzzle, but there are many elements to mobility that we must consider:
Muscle flexibility- the ability for the muscle to stretch and lengthen
Joint mobility- the smaller accessory movements that occur between joint surfaces
Neurodynamics- how well your nerves are able to glide and move
Stability- being able to control your body throughout its available range of motion
Today we are focusing in on one key element: joint mobility.
Traditional stretches do a great job at working on muscle flexibility, but they don’t always work well for overall mobility. If you can increase the movement between the actual joint surfaces, you will start to see some immediate changes in your mobility. This is where banded stretches come in.
When performing banded stretches, you want to use a band that has very little give to it, like these (regular old therabands definitely do not work for this). You are going to place the band as close to the joint as possible to help promote the necessary movement that must occur between the bones.
Now grab your bands, watch these videos, and get to work!
BANDED HIP EXTERNAL ROTATION
This is a great option for all my hip impingement people who struggle with pinching/pain int he front of the hip. Improving mobility in the posterior direction, especially when paired with hip external rotation feels amazing!! This is also a great one for dancers who want to work on turn out mobility.
BANDED HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
This banded stretch is great for addressing tightness in hip flexors, as well as if you are feeling any type of limitation moving your leg into extension (such as when pushing off while walking or running).
BANDED ANKLE DORSIFLEXION STRETCH
Feeling limited in your ankles during a squat or plie?? Try this mobilization to help improve your ankle dorsiflexion.
DOES YOUR MOBILITY FEEL LIMITED??
SCHEDULE your free 20 minute consult to get stated on your own custom mobility program now!!