The quality of your movement is determined by the quality of your muscles. This is one of the main points we teach because trying to get about your day with a body that’s chronically tight and weak makes the most basic of activities a chore.
Mobility can diminish over time from lack of use or abuse. By Lack of Use we mean not regularly performing movement patterns we’ve done for centuries such as squatting, walking, hanging from a bar, while abuse is a more modern phenomenon. People feed the need to do more and more just for the sake of it. I’ve seen more injuries caused by ego and the over enthusiasm of doing too much too soon.
A basic screen will inform you where and what you need to focus on, so you can prevent common injuries and chronic pain in the back, hips and shoulders.
Mobility is not solely just about where you lack range of motion but also about how well you can stabilise the areas that need to remain relatively stable from day to day. One of the main areas of weakness we notice with clients is their abdominal area or what’s often called your core or mid-line stability.
If you’ve had recurring back issues I would start with the pallof press and hanging knee tuck (lift knees only slightly to begin with) and then progress on to the easiest variations of the hollow and toes pointed plank in time.
We have found the degree to which you find the flexibility and midline tests shown difficult or easy is a good predictor of your injury risk factor i.e. if you really struggle to get your legs just half way to the floor on the hollow hold and your couch stretch is total misery then the likelihood of a back injury may be higher. It’s vital to work on creating more stability through focused core work and more flexibility through stretching tight areas.
Finally, it’s critical you strengthen the main areas of weakness that we see in clients – glutes, upper back, shoulders, through use of tools, such as, bands. Strengthening these areas is vital to maintain and solidify the changes you’re looking to make to your body. Bands are cheap, easy to use, you can travel with them anywhere and can be adjusted easily to make movements less or more challenging. Below are a summary of the videos and teaching points to help you make improvements.
Making significant changes to your mobility will happen through a combination of soft tissue work via rolling (on a ball and with a foam roll, you could get professional help from a Physio, Osteopath or physical therapist to speed up this process), stretching areas you’ve now identified as needing more or less attention and fix in these changes through the use of activation and strengthening with bands.
"Stretching alone, just foam rolling or solely doing band work to activate weak muscles is not the solution. You need to address all three areas to ensure the changes to your mobility stick".
See these Video’s and Teaching Points :-
This video below covers our flexibility screen and how to work on any tight areas that will become evident if you work through the tests shown.
This video covers the main tests we use to teach and test mid-line stability.
This uses a mini band.
This video explains the use of a power band.