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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Myth Busting: Mobility Training Doesn't Work

I was on a forum yesterday (yes, this was my first problem!), but I read a post where a guy stated that “mobility training didn’t do anything for him.” It didn’t improve his mobility OR his lifts.


As all of you know, I’m a big proponent of mobility work, and not just because I’ve devoted two products to improving it. I believe that as you age, if you don’t use your mobility (or improve it, if you’re already immobile), you lose it. That lack of mobility is also a big reason why people have a greater tendency to get injured as we get older. But, I digress.

Saying mobility training doesn’t work is a lot like saying strength training doesn’t work. About the only time strength training doesn’t work is if you’re applying it incorrectly.

If you aren’t getting the most out of your mobility training, I’d suggest you ask yourself the following questions:

- Where am I most immobile?

For instance many people complain of “tight” hamstrings,which is in fact the result of an anterior pelvic tilt – so they fail to stretch/mobilize the appropriate areas. If they focused on the quads/hip flexors, they’d probably see better results.

- Am I working hard enough to address this area?

If you are ridiculously tight and/or immobile in certain areas, 4-5 repetitions of a drill twice a week isn’t going to cut it. Increase your repetitions per set.

- Am I getting in sufficient volume?

Many think that mobility drills can only be done on training days. However, most mobility training can be done daily to reinforce and “groove” better mobility. When I start out with new clients, many will have daily mobility drills to get it up to snuff before engaging in more intense training.

- Am I doing any soft-tissue work to coincide with the mobility training?

Mobility training is great, but only one small part of a program. By adding in tissue quality work such as ART, foam rolling, or deep tissue massage, you’ll get a better return of investment. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Granted, these are “Readers Digest” answers to a big question, but saying mobility training “doesn’t work” ignores the basic tenets of physiology. Instead, figure out why your mobility training isn’t working and come up with a better plan.

Stay strong

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