How to Add More Mobility Into Your Life

Welcome to March!

This month at DPT we are focused on mobility. We love it, you know you love it and we all need more of it in our lives.

What is mobility exactly?

It’s not the same as flexibility. Being flexible is great, but we want to have a good combination of flexibility and strength. Essentially you want to be able to move well but also hold stable positions so you can reduce the risk of injury. A balanced body is flexible and strong- aka mobile.

By definition mobility is the quality or state of being mobile or movable. Your ability or capacity to move. 

In simple terms for those of us that work out, we want to be able to easily get into positions and postures and do so without pain or restriction. We also want to be able to go through life and our day to day without pain.

If an area of your body is particularly immobile (aka tight or restricted), it’s going to cause pain either in that area specifically or in a joint or muscle typically below or above it.

Now that we know a little bit more about mobility, what can we do about it?

Daily mobility sessions are the key. With the modern world the way it is, our posture is usually challenged. We’re driving, we’re sitting at a desk or computer, we’re on our phones.

It’s restricted and if we stretch and move for 10 minutes, our body feels good and moves well, but ultimately goes back to the posture and position that it’s used to. The affects don’t last as long as we’d like.

It’s a battle we have to tackle every day. But don’t worry about spending an hour a day on this stuff. Research has shown that one of the most effective ways to stay mobile and pain free is to micro-dose your stretching and rolling.

Basically you’ll get more out if it if you stretch or roll (foam roller, softball, lacrosse ball, etc) for 1 minute multiple times per day than one session of 10-20 minutes.

The latter is better than nothing though, so if you’re doing that, keep it up!

If you can sprinkle it in throughout your day, give that a try.

For every hour that you’re sitting at your desk, get up and stretch something for one minute.

Great choices are- hamstrings, hips and shoulders. 

Hamstrings = put your foot up on a chair, straighten your knee and lean in slightly
Hips = from a seated position, put your ankle on your opposite knee to cradle that leg and lean forward slightly (a seated pigeon-type stretch)
Shoulders =
1). place one hand on the edge of the door way (or one on each if it’s narrow enough) and lean slightly away from your arm
2). get on your knees and place both hands on your desk with your arms straight, then drop your head slightly below that shoulder line

For soft tissue and rolling, try to spend 5 minutes at the start or end of each day. Just focus on one area at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed by having to roll every part of your body.

Great options of where people are typically the tightest are:
Feet (lacrosse ball on those feet, yes!)
Hips (softball into the glutes)
Middle Back (foam roll right around your shoulder blades)

The consistency is what’s important. Daily work will get you the best results. If some days you have longer, spend a bit more time on it. Our challenge to you this month is to commit to rolling, stretching or mobilizing every day. We will be giving you some tips and specific stretches each Monday in March so look for those in the Facebook group and via the weekly newsletter.

Let’s get strong and mobile this month!

 

About the Author Callie Durbrow

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