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How to Improve Your Mobility and Strength

How to Improve Your Mobility and Strength

Flexibility, mobility, and movement are the four key components of any fitness program. If you aren’t doing them as part of your workouts, you’re missing out on the most important way to increase your strength and overall health.

The best movement routines don’t choose between flexibility and mobility, but rather combine them regularly to maximize results.

Stretching boosts flexibility, which helps your muscles move better and improves your range of motion. Static stretching, or holding one position for an extended period of time, is an excellent way to warm up before a session, but you’ll also want to focus on dynamic exercises, or movements that require movement and muscle activation, according to trainer Tom Cuff-Burnett.

Improving mobility can help you get stronger without weights, too. You’ll have a greater range of motion when you lift, so your muscles will be more efficiently activated and you’ll be able to lift more weight.

Aside from improving your strength, mobility is also a great way to prevent injuries. If your joints aren’t moving through their full ranges of motion, you’ll compensate and end up doing more harm than good to the joint over time.

That’s why it’s important to do mobility-enhancing exercises regularly, suggests Prentiss Rhodes, CSCS, a NASM-certified personal trainer and master instructor in Scottsdale, Arizona. She explains that mobility can help prevent many types of injuries, including back pain and shoulder problems.

Hipmobility

Tight hip flexors aren’t just uncomfortable; they can hinder your mobility, fitness performance and even cause lower back pain. That’s why it’s so important to work on mobility exercises to get your hips moving properly and freely.

Doing these mobility moves can help you walk up and down stairs, bend and squat, and perform a variety of other everyday tasks with ease. They can also help prevent hip and knee pain, says physical therapist Jessica Cervantes.

Squat with a stick to train hip internal rotation

A lack of hip internal rotation can make it difficult to balance and move in activities like squats and deadlifts, as well as lead to a host of other injuries over time. Doing this squat variation with a stick helps train hip internal rotation while strengthening your arms.

Twist with a band to improve shoulder mobility

A simple twist with a band takes your arm through its entire range of motion and strengthens it in the process. This movement also stretches your chest, allowing you to keep your back straight when sitting or lying down.

It’s a good idea to consult your doctor before trying any new mobility or flexibility exercise, particularly if you have any previous injuries or joint replacements.

Kneeling with a ball to target your upper back

A lacrosse ball is the perfect tool for targeting your upper back. You can find these at most gyms and sports stores. Simply squat down about six inches, and place the ball between your body and the wall to massage any tight muscles that may be holding you back from optimal mobility.

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