On the internet, I find many place recommend the exercise called Shoulder dislocates to improve shoulder mobility, and for hips, a squat with band around both calves together. I've also heard yoga helps improve mobility.

Could someone explain how this exactly works? How does ones mobility increase as a result of doing these type of exercises?

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Every muscle/tendon complex has receptors that feed back to the brain that limit range of motion in order to avoid injury to a muscle. As an example, an unconscious/asleep person will have a greater range of motion than someone that is awake. This is also the mechanism that makes your leg kick when the doctor whacks your knee with a hammer.

What stretching does, is progressively teach that feedback complex to accept a greater range of motion before limiting anything. (Barring actual physical structure limitations).

So essentially the brain monitors the feedback from these muscle/tendon complexes, and at a certain point it says "Whoa, stop there or we are going to get hurt". Stretching creates a different Whoa point, which in turn means you can go through a greater range of motion before that limit is hit. I.E., increased range of motion/mobility.


Just like regular exercise stretching can be done with a form of progressive overload. Take a toe touch for example. Slowly go down as far as you can. Say mid calf, don’t force it, just hold it in that position for a few seconds. Come up, rest for a few seconds, and repeat. Usually you can reach a little further each time you repeat this until you are in the full stretch.

Also the best analogy I’ve heard is think of your muscles like cheese. If you stretch it rapidly while it’s cold it will snap. But if you warm it up ie with stretches, it will stretch.

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