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Pre Workout Joint Mobility - Are you moving as well as you should be ?

I only have 45 minutes to get a workout in... So i will skip my warm up and mobilisation…

How many times has this happened to you ?! I know when short on time the last thing you want to do is spend time  mobilising your joints and stretching as so many of us our so time poor, and our time is precious.

One of the biggest mistakes I see men and women make in the gym is getting too caught up in the aesthetic focus of fitness. Of course it’s great to look good, but not when it comes at the expense of more important physical attributes like health and mobility. During your twenties, you can get away with a gung-ho attitude to exercise and personal training: your body recovers rapidly, and it's still benefiting from the natural flexibility you had during childhood. As the years pass, however, even basic movements like squats and lunges can become laboured and difficult. We  often suffer from 'it won't happen to me' syndrome - but it will. Trust me.

We all are aware as a nation we sit to much,hunch too much, spending endless hours at a desk, hunched over looking through instagram,sitting in a car,train or a bus  to then come home to sit on the sofa, before lying down in bed. You get the jist !

The result is stiff, immobile tissue poor posture, shortened tight muscles  affecting your shoulder, hips,neck, spine wrist etc. So this is why it's imperative that Before we workout  we need to prepare the joints and tissues for the work to come.Think what muscle group am i working on today? What positions will my body be in, so before our workout we can address any soft tissue pain, work on our motor control and full range of motion so we are getting the most out of our workout. Think Train Smart !! Preparation is key…..

Why mobility works:

Something as little as 5-10 minutes daily can be enough to see progress. One of the most common reasons you feel unathletic is because you aren't able to get into the positions and postures that you want. It's much easier to do a little mobility work every day to preserve it than it is to lose it and have to work to get it back. 5 minutes a day goes a long way.

  1. Decreases chance of injury- This should be a given and is by far the most important. Any restrictions to a freely moving joint pose a possible risk of injury. There are some exceptions such as a basketball player having tight ankles to prevent constant sprains from changing directions, but overall a free joint is a happy joint.
  2. Keeps joints healthy- When doing mobility exercises, the joint being targeted is commonly referred to as being “warmed up.” What is actually happening is that blood is being moved to the surrounding tissues and synovial fluid (fluid in our joints which helps them glide) is shuttled into the working joint. For example, fire hydrants or hip circles are aiming to warm up the hips. Blood is then transported to the muscles working to move the leg (hip flexors, glutes, external rotators) and synovial fluid hydrates the hip joint in preparation for exercise.
  3. Become stronger- If our movement is restricted in a squat and we can only go down to just above parallel, how strong would the squat be through its full range of motion if we are not able to train the bottom fourth of the movement? Not very strong at all. This logic can be applied to every exercise as well. If our mobility is limiting a full range of motion, then we cannot strengthen all parts of the movement.
  4. Time efficient- Like I said earlier, mobility exercises are quick, easy, and effective by design. A full upper body or lower body routine can be completed in 5-10 minutes making it optimal as a warm-up or cool down. Full body routines can be implemented on non-training days as well and should take no more than 15-20 minutes either.
  5. All you need is you- In addition to being time efficient; mobility exercises are also very portable. Many can be down with just body weight movements, and the most you would ever need are some bands and a light bar or dumbbells. There really is no excuse to not stay on top of mobility work.

Set aside that 5 minutes  your body with thank you for it, adequate joint mobility, leads to better joint stability and then to better overall strength. You are only as strong as your weakest link so for a lot of people, the key to getting stronger and fitter is actually in improving mobility so that they can move more efficiently and get into better joint alignment. That’s why mobility is so important.