Home / Uncategorized / Mobility—What is it? (Part I)

 


Before we dine with mobility, let’s drink wine with flexibility. Flexibility is the quality of
bending easily without breaking. Think of flexibility as passive bending. So when we say
something like, “You should work on your flexibility,” we are actually saying: you should
increase the amount your connective tissue can be passively stretched before noxious tension is sensed. Is this important? Yes, but only insofar as it allows for the creation of advantageous postures (positions, shapes) from which we can optimally move (transition, express ourselves) from. In contrast, the definition of mobility is the ability to move freely and easily. Think of mobility as active moving. It can be better conceptualized by the equation: Mobility = Flexibility. Positional Strength. Ergo, any movement we make requires a particular level of flexibility interacting with mobility, expressed as positions and transitions. For example, in order to achieve a squat we require three positions and two transitions: stand? squat? stand. This concept can be applied to any movement. If any of you are like me, you are probably thinking: “Okay, cool concept, but is it useful?

This concept becomes useful by practicing mobility at the end ranges of our flexibility,
known as end-range conditioning (ERC). To illustrate, let’s ERC together in the squat position,
as I am currently doing. 1) Assume the squat position. 2) Relax as much as possible (your
flexibility in the squat). 3) Keeping your weight balanced over your whole foot, push your toes down, push your knees out and erect your spine. 4) Abut your elbows to your knees, thereby blocking their inward movement. 5) Press your knees into your elbows for 10 seconds at a 50% effort. 6) Drive your knees away from your elbows for 10 seconds at a 50% effort. 7) Bring your elbows to your new knee position. 8) Repeat steps 5 and 6 three more times. 9) Relax. This concept can be used in any position to expand our mobility by using different types of muscle activations. The benefits of expanding mobility are: becoming better movers (humans), increasing joint resilience, health and longevity, and living as pain free as humanly possible.

Warning, oncoming plug: I will be leading two free classes on May 12th and May 19th @ 5:00PM at FITT-RX called, Functional Mobility (Func Mob)This class is influenced by yoga, pilates, and ERC. In practice, it is similar to yoga, but less ‘OM’ and more steroids. I also use snappier movements that will be explored in future blogs. Hope you have a great weekend and to see you soon!

–Mike Sammarro, FITT-RX Trainer

 
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