Is Mobility Really That Important?
MOBILITY - Is mobility really that important?
So guys and girls, one of the topics that was handed in to be discussed in our new blog series is MOBILITY.
Well what happens when you don’t stretch??? Nothing happens for the first while, but that doesn’t mean nothing is going to happen. So you go to the gym… you train, you lift weights, you get stronger, you stick to your meal plan, you get leaner, life is good your starting to get where you want to be, your beach body is nearly ready….who needs to stretch that’s for Pilates and yoga heads.
So your on a roll…. You’re strong! You’re ripped! Your abs are on show, summer is coming and you feel amazing!! Until one day you wake up and you have a slight niggle in your back. So you lie on the floor, stretch it out and its all good, pain is gone…. FOR NOW.
So you go to work 9-5 hunched over a desk staring at a computer with a 30min break at 12:00 then you’re back to the desk for another 5hours and at the end of the day your lower back is aching, but not to worry once you get to the gym and you warm up the pain fades so its all good.
You’re in the gym, your nice and warm and your back feels good so you load up the bar, step under it, get into a squat position and up we go….F**K what was that. You have a shooting pain in your back and you can’t stand up straight, that doesn’t feel good.
So what actually happened???? As you trained (in this case legs, which everyone does RIGHT?) but did not stretch and mobilize properly before and after, your muscles did not get a chance to come back to their original length, you then go to work for 7 hours a day/5 days a week, sitting hunched over a desk looking at a computer screen,. As you’re sitting at your desk hunched over for a long period of time the front of your hips (i.e. hip flexors) and lumbar spine became really tight, Because your hip flexors are extremely tight your pelvis has started to roll forward, causing a protruding and weak abdomen as well as weak glutes and hamstrings, (i.e lower cross syndrome)
So when put under a heavy load I.E. a back squat one of your disk’s herniated because your body was not able to move into the right position and your spine took all the load. Normally lower and upper cross syndrome come together. For example, the hip flexors become tight & the glutes become so weak that the pelvis starts to rotate. A rotated pelvis will start to cause bad posture on the upper body, which stretches mid-back muscles and tightens the pectoral neck muscles.
Now you’re out of action for the next 6-8 weeks, the weight room is getting lonely, your muscles are deflating and summer is just around the corner. All of this could have been avoided by doing a 10-15 minute stretching routine at the end of each workout to bring the muscles back to their original length.
This is just one of the injuries that can arise due to poor mobility, so don’t forget to stretch and don’t forget about the little guys, the ankles! They are one of the most important joints in relation to a squat or any closed chain movement. if you have pore dorsiflexion in your ankles you will not be able to get the right angle in your squat so your hips will push backwards in order to adapt causing your torso to lean forward i.e putting excess stress on your spine as shown in the image below.
Another couple of injuries that can arise from lack of stretching and mobility is the front of the thigh becomes tight, as well as the calf muscles, causing a strain in the knees. Weak shin muscles can cause the feet to roll inward (pronation) resulting in flat footedness and possibly knocked-knees.
So back to my first question, is mobility important? The answer is YES. When it comes to being healthy, strong and ripped, mobility is just as important as diet and training because without mobility we can’t move through the full range of motion which in turn makes other joints over compensate and eventually they get injured, so take care of your body, stay mobile and start stretching (if you don’t already) trust me it will benefit you in the long run, 10-15 min stretching 3-4 times per week sounds a lot better to me than 2 hours of physio each week @ €50 a pop for the next 6 weeks… that’s a lot of pops.
Here is a couple of ways to prevent upper and lower cross syndrome
Upper Cross Syndrome;
- · Stretch the pectoral muscles
- · Stretch the upper back muscles
- · Strengthen the middle back
- · Strengthen the rear shoulder muscles
Lower Cross Syndrome;
- · Strengthen the gluteal muscles
- · Strengthen the abdominal muscles
- · Strengthen the hamstrings
- · Stretch the hip flexor muscles
- · Stretch the quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh)
- · Stretch the calf muscles
- · Stretch the low back muscles
I hope this blog has made you realize the importance of stretching, thanks for reading and if you have any questions on mobility/ types of stretching you should be doing don’t hesitate to drop myself or one of our team members a mail.