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Top 5 Mobility Movements People Should be Performing Before Their Workout

 

The following is guest post from Nancy Newell. I’ve known Nancy for a couple years now and have been impressed with her work ethic, desire to learn, and network with smart people in the fitness industry. She’ll be making an impact soon enough. Oh and she’s really strong too!

nancy deadlift

  

Mobility and stability go hand in hand. Mobility is the ability to produce a desired movement where as stability is the ability to resist an undesired movement. Together they play crucial role in a successful strength-training program. So called corrective drills have been touted as having the ability to help alter posture along with improving range of motion. Here are some things you should consider and questions you should ask yourself when implementing mobility exercises prior to your training program.

(1) At what point is ‘bad’ posture detrimental? I’m guessing it’s different for different people because different people have different movement capabilities. For example, McGill did one study where he measured hip extension range of motion and some people had 16 degrees and some people had negative hip extension range of motion! So if a person with 16 degrees of hip extension ROM was lordotic and had an ATP they could probably still lock out their deadlift without stressing their lumbar spine but if someone had 3 degrees if hip extension ROM and were also lordotic and in ATP they might stress their lumbar to lock out. Make sense? you have to look at movement capabilities even before posture.

(2) Can a few gym movements really change posture? I would say the literature doesn’t really support that. McGill again, actually did have one where he did stretching and strengthening for people with hypo and hyper lordosis and turns out they did change their posture but that was a small sample size. Other reviews would say it isn’t that easy. Since posture is based on habits and what we do all day 10 minutes of correctives probably wouldn’t undo it, kind of like saying you can eat like shit but if you exercise for 30 minutes it will undo it.

(3) What is the main determinant in “good” or “bad”? Posture according to Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. In summary Kendall states “The position of the pelvis is the key to good or faulty postural alignment. The muscles that maintain good alignment of the pelvis both anteropsoteriorly and laterally, are the upmost importance to maintain good overall alignment. An Imbalance between muscles that oppose each other in the standing position changes the alignment of the pelvis, and adversely affects the posture of the body parts both above and below”

(4) As stated above cultural patterns of 21st century aide in accumulating stress to the structures of the human body by repetitive specialized activities such as ones day job. Correction of certain conditions requires good body mechanics, range of joint motion must be adequate but not excessive. Kendell states “ the more flexibility, the less stability; the mores stability, the less flexibility” So should the goal  be to achieve a happy medium? Ensuring we achieve stability at joints that are unstable and achieve an adequate range of motion at joints that are lacking adequate range of motion?

With all these points to consider here are several drills that you can start doing in your warm up today.

The following exercise over time with proper body mechanics during daily life will aide in achieving an increase of ROM by moving joints through a proper range of motion and adding stability to structures of the body for protection against injury.

  • The Dead-bug

Stability: Anterior core, lumbar

Mobility: shoulder, hip

  • T-Spine Extension and Rotation.

Stability: Scapula, lumbar spine

Mobility: Thoracic Spine

  • Bird Dog’s

Stability: Anterior, lateral, rotary core

Mobility: Hip, shoulder

  • Glute Bridge Iso holds

Stability: Core, knee

Mobility: Ankle, hip,

 

 

  • Yoga Push-ups

Stability: Scapula, core

Mobility: Ankle, shoulder, hip

Conclusion:

  1. You have to look at movement capabilities before posture.
  2. Look at daily living habits and how you can correct “bad” body biomechanics during every day life activities
  3. If you don’t move your joints through an adequate ROM over time you will lose your ROM and it will adversely affect the body parts above and below that joint.
  4. Achieve stability at joints that are unstable, and increase ROM at joints that lack ROM
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