32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness
#23. Stretching & Mobility
When we improve our range of motion through stretching, mobility, and stability exercises we move better, perform better in our workouts, and are at lower risk of injury.
If, for example, we have good ankle mobility, we are going to have a better squat, we are going to be able to maintain our balance better during our squat, we are going to reduce our risk of injury during a squat.
Why Do We Get Tight?—Lack of Movement, or Injury.
When we stop moving into ranges of motion that utilize the full capacity our bodies are meant to move into we begin to lose the ability to get there. When we get injured, one of the ways our bodies protect themselves is to reduce movement to safe ranges of motion.
How Do We Improve Our Mobility?
Knowing where we are tight can be tricky. Work with a coach to test your mobility and see where your personal restrictions are. There are basic movement patterns all of us should have access to, and tests that can determine where you are lacking mobility.
Challenge your positions of restriction. When we spend some time in positions that are difficult for our bodies to get into we can create adaptation (over time) and regain these positions.
Have a Daily Practice of Stretching & Mobility
What are your biggest limitations, your biggest trouble spots? Pick 3-4 stretches/mobility drills to do every day for 2 minutes/side to restore your positions and regain your movement. Once you have made progress in these areas, you can prioritize other areas and stretches.
Stretching For Back Pain
Lack of mobility around the hip is one of the causes associated with non specific low back pain (that affects 80% of adults). Stretching to improve hip mobility is shown to help fix low back pain issues.
When we implement a daily habit of stretching & mobility, we move better, feel better, get more out of our daily workouts, reduce back pain, and reduce our risk of injury! Pick 3-4 stretches a day to make consistent change over time.