2

I'm currently trying to assemble a little mobility routine for myself. I got two, a little more detailled, questions:

  1. When should I perform mobility exercises:
    • Before the workout, in order to get the full range of motion?
    • After the workout, in order to not tax the body to much before the workout (but with a light warmup before the workout of cause)?
    • On a seperate day, and only lightly warming up before workouts?
  2. What exercises would such a mobility routine consist of:
    • If the goal is to target increasing mobility in the whole body?
    • Is it even practical/useful to target mobility in the whole body?
    • Foamroller or Lacrosseballs would not be a problem, if needed. I already own these.

For workout routines the thinking is fairly easy to me. Hit every muscle in your routine and you're done (yes I know, pretty oversimplified, but essentially that's it). Whats the thinking for mobility routines? Hit every joint, maybe?


The Goal:

My overall mobility is pretty bad, so I want to improve it in order to prevent injuries while lifting weights and also increasing my range of motion in exercises like the squat.

1

I do not think that whole body mobility is the best way to approach this. I would argue there is no such thing. Your total mobility is simply the sum of the mobility over all your joints and muscles. Instead I think you should try to identify exactly which joints and muscles are causing you problems and work on these. The other joints and muscles are probably fine and I think it is somewhat a waste of time to work on these also.

It seems you are having problems with the deadlift and the squat. Yes the deadlift is potentially dangerous. Be extra careful with this lift. I think lack of flexibility may cause you to round your back in the bottom of the deadlift which is bad. In this case the problem is tight hamstrings.

Regarding the squat I understand you are having trouble reaching full depth. The problem may be lack of flexibility in the ankles. It may also be lack of flexibility in the hips. In is not dangerous not reaching full depth in the squat but it is less beneficial to squat shallow.

An important principle that goes for all lifts that you should follow is: If you can not perform the lift with full range of motion; lower the weigth until you can. Do not perform partial lifts.

You should perform the motion that causes you problem gently, but as often as you can. That is in the case of the squat; do some bodyweights squats every day. Pause in the bottom position for a few seconds and shift your weight back and forth gently between the ankles a bit.

In the case of problems with taking a wide stance due to tight hips I also think you should strengthen the gluteus medius by eg. Side Lying Leg Raises.

References

MOBILITY: What works?

Jujimufu 4 rules for flexibility exercises

A Better Way to 'Stretch' Your Hamstrings

0

My shop teacher used to say, "There is more than one way to skin a cat."

If you lack the mobility to do a specific lift, such as overhead shoulder press, I would suggest that you step away from the lift for a month or two. Find an alternative lift. When you go to the gym, do lifts that don't exceed your safe range of motion. Meanwhile, in each workout, after you are done lifting, walk over to the stretching area of your gym (if it has one) and focus specifically on your mobility for at least twenty minutes. I would expect that if you work diligently, then in a couple months you will have the range of motion you need and you can go back to the original lift.

What I'm suggesting here is that, in my opinion, the most efficient path to your goal is to take two separate paths that converge down the road. One path is creating strength. The other path is creating mobility. My suggestion is, don't mix them together, until the time has come.

For example, in a former life, I wanted to be able to do front splits. I tried and tried but didn't make progress. Then I stopped trying, and I instead worked on hamstring flexibility and hip flexor flexibility separately. A year later, I was just curious whether I could do front splits, and viola, it was relatively easy.

Moral to the story is, instead of tackling a big challenge head on, sometimes you have to be creative and find smaller challenges, and then if you are patient, you will find the bigger challenge just works itself out.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.