Mobility and flexibility refer to the range of motion that your body can attain, and the length that your muscles are able to stretch to comfortably. There are many factors that determine mobility, including the central nervous system, muscle adhesions and soreness. Well designed mobility programs like our Flex & Roll classes use several modalities to increase mobility safely and effectively over time.
People think of mobility as the ability to do circus poses, or be a yogi, but there are many practical reasons to increase your flexibility. Here are our top five.
Lower Injury Risk
Although there are many reasons people can get injured, a common exercise problem people have is not being able to perform an exercise properly due to lack of mobility. If you’re unable to get your body into a safe position, so that you’re doing an exercise in an optimal way, you are far more likely to get injured. Proper mobility and flexibility ensures that you’re able to achieve whatever positions are needed for various movement patterns. This ensures that stress is distributed properly throughout the body, and you’re not compensating in ways that can get you hurt.
Your body’s ability to generate power is directly proportional to the ratio of a given muscle’s tension and length. That is, in addition to being able to generate enough tension within a muscle, you also need to be able to get the muscle to the correct length to maximize the ration and generate sufficient power. Mobility allows you to lengthen muscles beyond what you might usually have a need for, so that you’re not limiting your strength in any range of motion.
The modern world has us sitting… a lot. We sit in the car, we sit at work and then we come home and sit some more. Unfortunately, the human body was built for a very different environment. Because our bodies aren’t in their natural environment, our bodies are changing, and not for the better. Constantly sitting causes your hip flexers to shorten, and your hamstrings to lengthen. This starts a chain reaction that causes anterior pelvic tilt and kyphosis. This bad posture increases injury risk, causes knee and back pain, and just doesn’t look very good. Not to worry, though. A good mobility program corrects these problems, and allows our body to function as it was designed to!
Mobility and flexibility methodologies such as yoga have been shown to reduce stress. Taking the time to focus on your body, in a relaxed environment, free of cell phones, deadlines and Facebook updates brings down our level of anxiety. Stretching out muscles increases blood flow, and allows our body to recover. We incorporate yoga into our mobility classes, as well as myofascial release and core strengthening because we’re committed to all around health.
Reduced Lower Back Pain
Tied in with improved posture is lower back pain reduction. Because of the anterior pelvic tilt many of us walk around with, there’s way more pressure on our lower back than there should be. This increase of pressure increases the likelihood we’ll get hurt doing simple tasks like picking things up off the floor, and is the cause of a lot of lower back pain. Correcting the issues that cause this pain is a great way to live a happier life, without having to resort to expensive pain killers.
If you’d like to learn more about mobility, we’re here to help. Call us at 727-216-9650, and we’ll get you started on the journey to being more flexible and better able to tackle life.