The New Strong

Mobility is defined as “the ability to move or be moved freely and easy.”  How many of us feel like we have good mobility in our bodies?  Some of you may have never felt fully mobile.  Most of us like to blame aging on the fact that we lose mobility in our bodies, but guess what?  It’s our own fault.  As we age being strong takes on a new meaning.  What is more important?  Being able to throw around dumbbells and barbells, which almost most certainly leads to aches and pains in the shoulders, back, wrist and hips, or being able to squat and lift kids freely, sit on the floor and even get up off the floor, and maybe even rolling to a standing position from the floor!  Being mobile is the new strong!

Humans have always been habitual creatures meaning we tend to have the same routines day in and day out.  Even athletes nowadays are picking their sport earlier in life instead of playing multiple sports, which can lead to creating the same body movement patterns over and over again…in my experience golfers fall the most victim to this repetitive body movement.

These repetitive routine lifestyles we lead are a large contributor to a lack of success in general exercise programs and classes.  Typically when people exercise they try to replicate a teacher or instructor to recreate a movement with no thought of how the body feels in the motion.   We try to imitate how the teacher or instructor looks, however, due to our habitual routines our bodies lose mobility, and we are not able to properly execute movements. Suddenly our routine exercise can become a contributor to our muscle aches, pains, and injuries.  Over time our bodies can become dysfunctional and our repetitive motions in exercise just reinforce the poor positions our bodies create due to this lack of mobility.  However, because “exercise is good for us,” and we want to burn those calories, we ultimately end up with a greater risk of injuring ourselves.  Maybe not immediately, but it will slowly creep up on us and one day you may step off a curb or reach into the back seat of the car and pull something wondering, “Why did that happen?”  We can’t in our right minds blame the “good for us exercising,” so we push through the pain or discomfort so we can get back to our repetitive exercise to make us feel better!  This then becomes a vicious cycle of behavior.

In my experience as a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist and personal trainer, I often struggle with group exercise or fitness classes. For the reasons mentioned earlier, it is hard for me personally to witness body movements perform repetitive motion with a lack of mobility that will almost definitely lead to injury in due time. They might not feel it during the workout but one of these days their poor body positions and lack of joint mobility will sneak up and create problems.  I know personal training is not an option or solution for everyone, so I am developed a mobility routine that will challenge you to pay attention to your body and adapt your body to work toward performing exercises in proper joint positions.

This style of workout is challenging for most people because it requires not just bringing your physical body to the workout, but you have to bring your mind as well.  I challenge you to watch the videos, practice the movements and work toward incorporating the routines into your daily activities.  Don’t give up your normal exercise routines though!  Either hit pause or try to immediately start incorporating this mobility routine into your week. The more you bring your attention to it, the more success you will find.  Next month I will address any hang ups you may have in the routine to assist in your continued success at getting mobile!