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Why you should work on mobility to achieve your fitness goals

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Written by

Personal Trainer Ben Winn PureGym Leeds

Mobility is a crucial but often overlooked element by gym goers who are working towards achieving your fitness goals. Before we dive into how it can help you to maximise your results in the gym, let me explain what it is.

So what is mobility?

Mobility is essentially your body’s ability to move freely and easily. A good way of checking your mobility can be done with a few simple exercises, which I’ll walk through below but even if you already have good mobility, it’s worth working on maintaining it – here’s why.

 

Benefits of having good mobility

 

  1. Increased flexibility

Having good mobility means you can move freely and easily, and you’re more likely to be more flexible and supple which is great in helping improve your performance and the results you get in the gym. With improved flexibility, your body will be able to achieve a full range of motion when performing various exercises. On the other hand, if your muscles are tight and not flexible, you won’t be able to perform the full range of motion, which often means you won’t be recruiting the muscles you should be using, or placing enough tension, to exert a big enough stimulus to help grow muscle. So essentially, this means your muscles won't be able to get as powerful, strong or build as they could if you were more flexible.

  1. Get better results

If you have good mobility, your body can get into positions easier and perform movement patterns more efficiently. This can help you get you better and faster results as you can maximise the work you do during exercise whilst targeting the right muscles, and be more likely to lift a heavier load which can improve your strength and help improve muscle mass in the long run.

  1. Improved quality of life

Good mobility supports proper functioning of your body. This will improve your quality of life as it will help you stay away from injury and worry from recurring discomfort or pain that could be mentally draining or frustrating, and limiting progress you make in the gym. These benefits will also support a positive mindset and happy mood so you can enjoy your time and achievements made in the gym!

  1. Better posture

When your body is able to move well, your body will be in better alignment and have better range of movement, so not only will this enable you to perform optimally during exercise and decrease the risk of injury, you will also improve your posture which can instantly make you look and feel better.

Give these basic mobility exercises a go and see how you go. I suggest trying these exercises as part of your warm up routine in your next training session to help you smash your main workout!

 

Walkouts - 1 set of 5 repetitions

  • Keeping your legs as straight as possible reach down to the floor with both hands and walk out into a press up position.
  • Walk your hands back towards your body, trying to keep your heels glued to the floor and legs as straight as possible.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Walkouts into Groiners - 1 set of 5 repetitions

  • Complete a walkout so you are in a press up position.
  • Bring your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand. Make sure you keep your heel flat on the ground and foot facing forwards.
  • Hold this for half a second before returning your foot to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other leg before walking your hands back towards your body, trying to keep your heels glued to the floor and legs as straight as possible.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Clams = 1 sets of 15 repetitions per side

  • Start by laying on your side on the floor. Bring both your knees and feet together so they on top of one another. Bring your heel close towards your glutes and point your toes away from your body. Have one hand on your head and the other on the floor in front of you for stability.
  • Once in the starting position look over your shoulder and ensure your heel is in line with your hip and shoulder.
  • From this position, externally rotate the leg furthest away from the ceiling. As soon as you can feel your glute activate return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Make sure to perform the movement in a controlled manner and to keep your hips from swinging all the way over (this is when you overcompensate to try and get a bigger range of motion that is not needed for the purpose of this exercise).

Thoracic Extension = 1 sets of 10 repetitions

  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your head on the wall (the further your feet are away from the wall the easier this exercise is and the nearer they are the harder it is).
  • Complete a posterior pelvic tilt, to ensure your abdominals are engaged, ribcage is depressed down and your back is flat against the wall.
  • Raise your arms so that they are straight and in line with your shoulders.
  • Pointing your thumbs up and keeping your head on the wall, raise your arms above your head until your thumb touches the wall (make sure you maintain a posterior pelvic tilt the entire movement, so your back keep contact with the wall).
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

 

Once you’ve warmed up, check out these quick, fat-blasting HIIT workouts you can complete in the gym in under 30 minutes, check out puregym.com/free-workouts

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