Mobility, for most in the modern world, has been lost. Our ancestors didn’t sit on chairs, work in offices or drive cars. They squatted on the ground, worked on the earth or hunted, and they ran or walked everywhere. We are like the cheetahs you see in the Zoo that have no way to express the very thing they are made for (I hate Zoos).
We are made to move, but everything we do has been made easier. But is easier better? Was there a need for a gym after working on the land all day long?
Don’t even get me started into the pretty boy muscles our culture admires. Functional muscle will always outwork the pumped up version of the body.
Back to mobility, I get sidetracked from time to time!
So why do we even need to be mobile? The answer is because it enhances your life. I always look at what the opposite looks like when looking at what I want. So who wants to be stiff as a board. We used to have a guy in Ju Jitsu they called “the plank” because he had the same amount of mobility as a plank of wood! Great guy but very, very still.
Lack of mobility means not being able to tie your laces, not being able to get into a car, lift your leg high enough to climb a step or get into bed, or to bend down to lift a child or to enjoy so many of the things we take for granted until they are gone.
So by now I hope that you will agree that mobility is important?
Strength and mobility go hand in hand and too much of one without the other is not good for you and, in fact, could lead to injury. As with all things, balance is key.
So there is a need to be mobile but how much is enough and can you be too flexible? Well the answer is yes flexibility without strength is not good. Your risk of injury is more if you have more strength than mobility and vice versa.
As in everything, there is a need for balance between strength and mobility and here are some simple truths that may help, should you want to increase your mobility.
You need to have a joint mobility routine that works for you and by ‘works for you’ I mean one that not only works but that you will also actually stick at practising.
If you don’t have one, I have one on my YouTube channel that, while basic, is grand as a starter if you want to check it out.
I will try to post more over the coming months.
Constancy is key! Doing 10 minutes a day is better than 2 hours once a week. This applies to most things including meditation or strength training.
Try to do 10 minutes once a day, 5 days a week and on the third day go a little heavier. Night time is best but for me mornings work so well. I do my mobility as soon as I wake and while my body is stiffer in the mornings due to lying in bed for 7 hours. Getting it done before the rest of my house is awake and before my work day starts is great.
Doing it anytime you can fit it in is better than not doing it at all, and, for me, first thing in the morning is ideal. My mind is clear and it’s just about getting up 10 minutes earlier. Start slow and don’t expect too much from your body -you may well have neglected it a lifetime.
We all have our good days and we all have our bad days. Just get through the bad days and excel on the good ones - they will come more often as the days go by. Read my post on expectations, I haven’t written it yet but I will! We all expect to much and that’s what causes frustration, frustration leads to anger and anger leads to a world of pain.
For some of you even this 10 minutes will fatigue you. You’re moving in a way you should have moved all your life but haven’t, so your body is going to resist the change at first. Don’t expect too much - “all the growth is in the discomfort”. You need to go through it to get to the other side, but not too much. ‘No pain no gain’ is out and no discomfort no gain is the way to go!
I am going to post about mobility a little more on my page. The reasons are two-fold: one selfish, one not.
If I put myself out there and show my weakness in my mobility and say I will improve - it puts me under a little pressure to do it.
I’m a teacher - I love teaching and helping others. If you can gain from what I post, then it does make me feel I have done something worthwhile.
I suppose they are both selfish, to be honest!