Why uou should mobilise before a workout?
Let’s cut to the chase, you may not be surprised to hear that there is evidence to suggest that mobility work before a workout can be beneficial. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Improved Range of Motion: Mobility work, such as dynamic stretching or foam rolling, can help increase the range of motion in your joints. This can allow you to move more freely during your workout and potentially reduce the risk of injury.
- Increased Blood Flow: Mobility work can also help increase blood flow to your muscles, which can improve your performance during your workout.
- Improved Neuromuscular Activation: Mobility work can help activate your neuromuscular system, which is responsible for the communication between your muscles and nervous system. This can help improve your muscle activation and overall performance during your workout.
- Enhanced Warm-up: Mobility work can be used as a warm-up to prepare your body for the more intense exercises to come in your workout.
Overall, incorporating mobility work into your pre-workout routine can be a beneficial way to improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury. However, it’s important to note that the specific type and duration of mobility work may vary depending on your individual needs and goals.
The Fitcure Approach
At Fitcure we structure our warms ups using the joint by joint approach- Here is a brief over view on the joint by joint approach
The joint-by-joint approach to a warm-up is a method of preparing your body for exercise by focusing on specific joints and their associated mobility or stability needs. This approach was developed by Gray Cook and Michael Boyle, two well-known strength and conditioning coaches, and is based on the idea that the body alternates between joints that require mobility and those that require stability.
The joint-by-joint approach divides the body into alternating segments, with each segment having a specific need for either mobility or stability. The following is a breakdown of the approach:
- Ankle: The ankle joint requires mobility, which is necessary for proper foot and lower leg mechanics during movement.
- Knee: The knee joint requires stability, which is important for maintaining proper alignment and reducing the risk of injury.
- Hip: The hip joint requires mobility, which is necessary for proper lower body mechanics and movement efficiency.
- Lumbar spine: The lumbar spine requires stability, which is important for maintaining a stable base for the upper body.
- Thoracic spine: The thoracic spine requires mobility, which is important for proper shoulder mechanics and overhead movements.
- Scapula: The scapula requires stability, which is important for proper shoulder mechanics and reducing the risk of shoulder injury.
- Glenohumeral joint: The glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint) requires mobility, which is important for proper upper body mechanics and movement efficiency.
- Elbow: The elbow joint requires stability, which is important for maintaining proper alignment and reducing the risk of injury.
- Wrist: The wrist joint requires mobility, which is necessary for proper upper body mechanics and movement efficiency.
The joint-by-joint approach can be incorporated into a warm-up by focusing on specific exercises or movements that address the needs of each joint segment. For example, ankle mobility exercises such as ankle circles or calf stretches can be performed to address the mobility needs of the ankle joint, while stability exercises such as single-leg balance or squats can be performed to address the stability needs of the knee joint. By addressing the specific needs of each joint segment, the joint-by-joint approach can help prepare your body for exercise and reduce the risk of injury.
Admittedly this warm up now sounds a bit lengthy so its important we pick specific exercises for the individual that is in front of us- Generally we will pick one for each area; for example: The Hip
The hip moves in flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, internal and external rotation. Based on this information we would choose an area of the hip most in need as in where the person has a limitation and or what they are specifically training on that given day- for example if they are squat, we might work on hip external rotation (knees out) and hip flexion (knees to chest) type drills, if they are picking something heavy up from the ground (deadlifting) we may choose hip extension (hips forward) and internal rotation (knees coming in). But ultimately it depends on the individual’s muscular imbalance, bony structures, current fitness level and tasks to be performed as to exactly what we would prescribe in our warm ups.
That’s why we always perform a thorough assessment prior to commencing training with each individual that comes through the door.
At Fitcure (our Leeds based personal training studio) we do a ton of CPD and use a combination system comprising the functional movement system, table tests and working with load on some entry level strength exercises to determine our clients initial starting level from here it’s important to keep reassessing regularly to ensure you are getting the best most bespoke session possible to maximise results and minimise injuries.
How to get help with your mobility
If your starting this journey alone and don’t yet have a trainer to build you a customised plan- Our advice before commencing your session would be
- Foam Roll
- Do some box breathing (we have an article on this so be sure to check it out)
- Follow the joint by joint approach, pick an ankle mobility drill, do some single leg knee dip or balancing on one leg, pick a hip mobility drill, do a plank, do some thoracic rotations
- Start off with warm up sets on each exercise don’t go straight in with a heavy weight perform 2-3 warm up sets to really dial in that technique and get the blood flowing prior to starting your full exercise routine.
So there you have it !! Warming up is not sexy, but it does allow you to do the sexy stuff for a long time into the future- Look after your body and your body will look after you J