Mobility is at the forefront of fitness right now… all of a sudden, everyone realizes that flexibility and movement are important for performance and injury prevention. Well, that has helped make massage therapists and bodyworkers a little extra cash, but should all of this emphasis be put on mobility? The answer is yes and no.
If you have read anything by Gray Cook, you would see that Mobility and Stability are not only equally important but play an interactive role in how well we move. Too much mobility can cause issues in the joints if they become hypermobile. Too stiff of a joint can cause muscle injuries or joint issues above or below the rigid joint. The healthy structure of the body relies on a sequence of stable zones and mobile zones. We start with a stable foot, mobility of the ankles, stability of the knee, mobility of the hips, stability of the low back, mobility of the upper back, stability of the shoulder blade and neck, and mobility of the shoulder joint. A good structural assessment can see the majority of these points.
Some people will have great movement and be incredibly unstable, and some will be incredibly stable but have terrible movement. Both of these are problem scenarios. However, most people fall in the middle and it will require a combination of improving motion and improving stability. If you are experiencing pain, how do you know which you need? here are a couple options. 1) have a qualified fitness professional take you through a structural assessment and find your deficiency. 2) Educate yourself. There are several resources out there on mobility and stability training for the body. Authors and movement specialists like Grey Cook, Kelly Starrett, and Paul Chek are just a few to look at. Understanding your own body is a great way to continue to improve.
1 thing is for sure if you think that you are a little out of whack, or you notice pain in your training routine, now is the time to start correcting your body. Mobility, stability, or a combination of both, it is important that you start implementing them into your routine before a larger problem occurs. A tennis ball, a foam roller, and a resistance band are a whole lot cheaper than shoulder, hip, or back surgery. Take care of yourself now!
Move Better, Feel better!
Director of Movement Enhancement