Mobility is a confusing topic in the fitness...
Static stretching, dynamic stretching, not stretching at all... what's right?
Check out RD's mobility clinic. Mobility is all about teaching the body to control range of motion. By mixing breathing and tension based strategies, followed by different stability exercises, over time we increase range of motion and learn how to control it.
1) What are we changing?
Mobility should be addressing specific. Stretching because it feels good is nice but not every stretch is appropriate for every person. So if we have a benchmark to compare different stretches against, we know if the choices we're making are the right ones (crazy concept).
During our mobility clinic we had members test their toe touch, shoulder flexion and a body weight squat. Every few movements, we would retest. So for those of you at home, is there a movement or activity that's easily measured to see if what you're doing is making a difference? Think about it and test it out!
2) Breathing vs. Tension
We encourage 2 different approaches to mobility. We test and retest using the Functional Movement Screen to determine which path works best for the individual. For some people, positional breathing moves the needle. For others, tension based stretches work better.
Try movements like commando breathing, 90/90 breathing or quadruped t-spine rotations to see if breathing is the right method for your body. Exercises like half-kneeling hip flexor stretches, scapular rotations or shoulder rotations can be effective at creating mobility if tension is added into the mix.
3) You're Addressing Your Brain
Mobility is all about teaching your brain to control new ranges of motion. Traditional stretching is an incomplete puzzle for some because supplementary exercises are not utilized. After doing any of the exercises mentioned above, just a simple bridge or carry can help the brain understand the new range of motion you've created. Without it, the body is likely to go back to square one.
LEARN FROM THE BEST!