Six Reasons to Do Mobility Work
by Erik Castiglione
Welcome to week 2 of our mobility series! Last week, we defined mobility to help you understand what it actual is. This week, we discuss why it’s important. Below are six reasons to do mobility work:
- Safety – By improving your mobility, you can make sure that you are able to hit all proper ranges of motion. By moving properly, we can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
- Improved WOD Times – In order to move as quickly as possible, we need to be efficient in the way we move. A big part of movement efficiency is passing through proper positions as we complete the movement. As you may recall from last week, mobility is the body’s ability to achieve specific positions. Enough said.
- Better Recovery – When we are stiff and sore, our tissues are “stuck.” This adhesive tissue prevents blood flow to the affected area, which prevents recovery, and keeps us stiff and sore. By doing mobility work, particularly soft tissue work, we can break through adhesive tissue and increase blood flow to affected areas. This carries nutrients to and removes waste from our cells in the area, allowing us to recover better.
- Reduced Stress – When we are stiff and sore, or generally in pain, our bodies produce cortisol, the stress hormone. This is the hormone that puts us in fight or flight mode, which, while good on occasion, is not a state we want to stay in chronically. As mentioned above, soft tissue work can help you recover faster by promoting blood flow to inflamed areas of the body. By reducing soreness and stiffness, we in turn limit that source of cortisol production.
- Stronger Lifts – How much you can lift depends on two things: how much muscle you have, and your ability to contract that muscle. Your ability to contract your muscles is regulated by your nervous system. If your joints are properly aligned, your nervous system will allow you to contract powerfully. If something is out of whack, your nervous system will reduce your contractile power to prevent injury. Mobility work can help us align our joints.
- Easier Muscle Gains – The amount of muscle you are able to build depends on a combination of diet, exercise, and hormones. We already mentioned that mobility allows you to activate more muscles and lift heavier, which is necessary for building mass. We also mentioned the stress hormone cortisol above. In addition to preventing recovery, it interferes with your body’s ability to process testosterone, which is necessary for muscle growth. Assuming your diet and exercise routine are solid, mobility could be your missing link for muscle building.
Hopefully this persuaded you that you should be working on your mobility. If not, get your head out of your ass you should come talk to me so I can beat you over the head with Becoming a Supple Leopard work harder to convince you. If you are convinced, stay tuned, because next week we’ll talk about how to actually go about mobilizing. Until next week, stay relentless!