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Mobility: What Is It and Why Is It So Important?

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Mobility is one of the keys to longevity in training. Working on mobility will also unleash A LOT of hidden potential in your body.

Working on mobility will help you break through plateaus and improve your overall health. You also need mobility to get strong and move well.

Mobility isn't something we do for the sake of "getting more mobile". Mobility work is done because it's necessary in order to maximize one's potential and working on it has numerous of great benefits.

Mobility work will allow you to maximize your progress in anything you do whether it's increasing the size of your muscles, building strength or developing movement skills. Without working on mobility you will either develop chronic injuries or just hit a plateau in your training.

Lots of athletes, powerlifters and normal gym-goers consider pain and aches normal and "part of the game", but this mode of thinking is a massive mistake.

Pain is not normal. Chronic injuries are not part of the game. You aren't tough because your knees are messed up by dumb training.

Almost all chronic pains and injuries are fixable, and most of them can be fixed with correct mobility work.

So What is Mobility?

Mobility is strength in the range of motion of the muscle.

The difference between mobility and flexibility is that with mobility you have control over the range of motion. For example, you are probably able to lift your leg relatively high with the assistance of your arms. That's flexibility.

Mobility is when you are able to control the entire range of motion of the leg with just the leg muscles: you don't need assistance to lift the leg up.

It's possible to have strength in your muscles in just small range of motions. That's why strength alone isn't enough: you need to train the entire range of motion to build mobility.

You can get started on improving your mobility NOW by signing up for our FREE 5-Day Mobility Challenge >>>HERE<<<!

There are two types of mobility:

1. Mobility of the muscle / body part (isolation)

It's possible to have mobility in certain muscles and lack it completely in others. For instance, you can have a very mobile upper body but non-existing mobility in the lower body (think of professional rowers or cyclists).

When you work on building mobility in a specific muscle (which is many times needed), you are working on the mobility of that muscle.

Although one muscle will get strong and mobile, it doesn't mean your entire body has a good level of mobility, which is why 2. is important:

2. Overall mobility, also known as the structural balance

Overall mobility, also known as the structural balance is how balanced and mobile your entire body is as a whole.

Structural balance is by far the most important thing you need for growth, health and injury-prevention. A balanced body that is mobile everywhere is almost bulletproof to injuries because it doesn't have any weak links to it.

A good level of structural balance allows the individual to perform and handle any postures and positions the body is put into.

Also, because everything is working correctly, no joint is getting too much unnecessary strain which helps to prevent many chronic injuries people experience.

Your body wants to maintain balance by default. It's basically the body's injury prevention mechanism.

You will not be able to grow to your full potential without structural balance, because the body will restrict your growth in order to stay healthy and to prevent injuries.

The triceps need to counterbalance the size of the biceps. Likewise, the front side of the thigh needs to balance the muscles of the posterior thigh (hamstrings etc.). This should be obvious, but often times it isn't.

Two Ways to Build Mobility

1. Using the full range of motion with compound exercises

Compound exercises are big multi-joint exercises like push ups, pull ups, bicycle crunches, squats and burpees.

You will develop good levels of mobility by doing big compound exercises with a full range of motion. This means that you will squat all the way down. You will start the pull ups from straight arms and then pull up to your chest.

You need to be in control of the range of motion, just doing the full range of motion won't be enough (swinging, twerking etc.).

Many people use only a small portion of the range of motion which merely builds strength in that small range of motion. In many cases, it barely builds strength at all because the movement generates minimal load (full vs. quarter squats). You want to build strength in the entire range of motion.

Developing good levels of strength, mobility and flexibility by doing full range of motion compound exercises allows you to progress, and polish the body with isolative mobility exercises.

2. Isolating certain muscles or body parts

Although working on the compound exercises will work, it won't be enough. This is when you need to start isolating the muscles. Moreover, with many compound exercises you won't be working all the muscles of your body with the full range of motion anyway.

The key is to learn how to control the weak and immobile muscles. Once that's done, you can start building strength there.

This is also the most challenging task because very likely a muscle is overlooked because the person doesn't know how to control or fire it properly. Many times it can be one tiny muscle in the shoulder that is causing problems or just one random muscle that has been overpowered by other muscles that do the same function.

Isolating the weak and immobile muscles is where the Mobility Class fits in our overall training regime. Whether you favour Krav Maga or Combat Fitness, the Mobility Class was designed with mobility and structural balance in mind because these are the keys to performance and progress in anything you do.

But you don't have to wait for Saturday to get started on improving your mobility. Join our FREE 5-Day Mobility Challenge >>>HERE<<<.

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