In this article, we’re going to discuss seven exercise tips for improving mobility, but there is often some confusion as to the definition of mobility, and people often think mobility is the same as flexibility.
Is there a difference between flexibility or mobility? Yes, there is!
Before we look at exercise tips to increase mobility, let’s first look at the difference between flexibility and mobility.
Even though most of us have been using these terms interchangeably for years, mobility doesn’t necessarily mean flexibility. While the two terms make us think the same thing, they’re a bit different for our bodies.
What is Flexibility?
Think about elongating your muscles, and this is what people mean when they say, “Wow, she’s flexible.” Flexibility is the ability of your muscles to elongate and stretch.
What is Mobility?
Mobility is the term given to how your body moves. For example, do you have a full range of motion? Is your muscle tissue restricted? How are your joints, soft tissue and motor control working?
Mobility is how well you move a muscle or muscle group through a range of motion in the joint socket, with control. To do this, you need strength.
Bottom line – mobility is how well and efficiently you move your body. Flexibility is passive, and mobility is active.
While flexibility is one aspect of mobility, your strength, coordination and body awareness are also key elements.
Now let’s look at some tips for increasing your overall mobility.
#1: Be Active
First, it’s worth noting that any activity is better than being immobile. That means get up off the sofa and move.
An active lifestyle can help put you on the road to increased mobility because it engages your muscles.
Something as simple as walking can help. Take it a step further and have a personal trainer guide you with important exercises for improving mobility.
#2: Engage in Strength Training
No matter your age, you can always gain muscle if you don’t have any.
Additional muscle strength can help you regain your mobility. A personal trainer is the best person to turn out in this case because they have expertise in helping people of all ages build muscle.
#3: Exercise: The Wide Squat Thrust
If you sit at a desk all day, you may have restricted mobility in your hips. This exercise can help you open your hips, activate your glutes and increase your mobility or range of motion.
- Start in a push-up position.
- Keep your core tight.
- Jump both feet forward at the same time.
- Land with your feet just outside your hands.
- Drive your hips toward your hands when you land.
- Jump your feet back to the starting position.
- Repeat several times.
#5: Exercise: Psoas Extension
The psoas is a deep-seated core muscle connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. This exercise targets the hips by stretching the hip flexors and improving hip mobility and total body stability.
- Stand inside a doorframe, facing on of the door jambs.
- Step back with your right leg.
- Move your foot outside the door along the wall as you lower your body into a lunge.
- Your back should touch the door jamb behind you.
- Reach up and grab the jamb as high above your head as you can with both hands.
- Hold up to two minutes.
- Repeat on your left leg.
#6: Exercise: Lunge and Twist
This exercise works your entire body, relieving tension in your glutes, hamstrings, hips, groin, and torso. It enhances the range of motion throughout your body.
- Step forward with your right leg into a deep lunge.
- Place your left hand on the floor and your right hand on your right foot with your arm against your inner thigh.
- Hold your foot against the ground as you press your right knee out with your arm.
- Hold for five seconds, relax for five seconds. Repeat for a minute and a half.
- Don’t move your hands and rotate your torso up to the right and then to the left.
- Repeat five times for 10 seconds each rotation.
- Stand up and step forward with your left leg repeating what you just did on the right.
#7: Foam Rolling
Foam rolling can also help with your flexibility. While it may hurt at bit at first, research shows that rolling out the lactic acid can help your tight muscles by breaking up scar tissue and improving circulation.
Shape magazine has a video of 10 foam rolling exercises to increase mobility. Check it out here.
If you increase your mobility, you’ll be able to perform movement patterns without restrictions on your range of motion. This is why mobility is so important.
A flexible person may or may not have the necessary core strength, balance or coordination to perform these movements as someone with great mobility.
Mobility issues can be addressed with strengthening exercises, stretching and work with a foam roller.
If you have any questions regarding your flexibility and mobility, please reach out to us today. Your personal trainer is uniquely qualified to help you reach your goals.
Please note: any exercise regimen should begin with a doctor’s approval, and what’s found here does not constitute medical advice.
At Apex Personal Training, we care about your overall health and well-being. Start working with one of our personal trainers today to get in shape, train for a race, boost energy, feel better, reduce stress and live a happier life. We’re are to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.