Mobility at the gym
It’s a fact of life that we become less mobile as we age. Being able to lift heavy weights might seem impressive, but how much are you really going to gain in the long-term if you aren’t working on technique? Not to mention the risk of injury!
Mobility training is used by physical therapists for helping their patients with restoring function after an injury or corrective surgery, however we believe specific mobility exercises should be a part of everyone’s workout regime.
First things first. What is mobility?
Someone who has good mobility can move their body freely with no pain or discomfort. According to Train Heroic, “Mobility is the ability to move a joint and accompanying muscle in the full range of motion it was designed for without mechanical assistance and differs from flexibility because flexibility focuses on lengthening a muscle.”
Now you’re probably thinking, “well I don’t feel like my mobility holds me back – why should I incorporate it into my training?”
Everything we do in the gym is about efficiency. You want to be able to go home after a workout knowing that what you achieved during that session will have a positive impact on your body.
Mobility training improves posture, technique, and form, whilst preventing injury and muscle fatigue, which all leads to increased strength and power during exercise – allowing you to maximise your workout benefits.
You might like to add mobility at the beginning or end of your workout or have it as a stand-alone session in your weekly regime.
We have chosen four example mobility exercises to get you started… and the best part… you can do them all from the comfort of your living room!
Squat to stretch
- Start standing with feet at shoulder width, before moving into a squat position.
- Grab the tip of your toes and begin to straighten your legs, pushing your hips high whilst still holding onto your toes. TIP: You should feel a really nice stretch in your hamstrings.
- Hold this for 15-20 seconds and then straighten up & repeat.
Walking lunges with a rotation
- Start in a standing position, before stepping your right foot forward into a lunge position.
- Engage your core and hold your hands at chest height.
- Rotate your arms and upper body toward the right and hold for 3-4 seconds.
- Rotate slowly back to centre before stepping your left foot out into a lunge and repeat on the alternate side.
- Complete 10 lunges.
For this exercise, you will need a broomstick, or something similar.
- Start in a standing position, shoulder feel apart.
- Hold the broomstick parallel to the floor and with as wide of grip as possible.
- Slowly raise the broomstick above your head whilst keeping your arms straight and core engaged.
- Bring the broomstick behind your body, opening up the chest, and hold for 3-4 seconds.
- Move back to the starting position with control & repeat 10 times.
- Start by standing on one leg.
- Slowly lower yourself into a one-legged squat, keeping the other leg straight in front.
- Aim to gradually improve the stability and the depth of your squat over time.
- If you’re finding it hard to keep balance, we recommend holding onto a chair or piece of furniture to steady yourself.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times on each leg.
The above are just a few examples of many when it comes to mobility!
Looking for that extra bit of motivation? SportUNE has a range of weekly group fitness classes on offer, check out our classes here.
Or to learn more about fitness and wellbeing and connect with like-minded people, visit the Wellness Hub.