Mobility is the ability for the body to move through its full, functional range of motion (ROM) efficiently and effectively without pain or compensation.
It is not to be confused with flexibility, which is how a muscle lengthens. Mobility training targets and improves your joint mobility – a person with good mobility can perform everyday activities with no restrictions and with strength through the entire range of motion. You can think of mobility as an umbrella term covering factors which affect a joint’s ROM:
When joint mobility decreases, the body compensates around that joint by recruiting muscles in other areas to help out. This affects how you move and over time you may suffer significantly more wear-and-tear and pain than if the joint could move normally. Unfortunately when you are exercising, if you perform ‘faulty movements’ under higher intensity, this puts you at an increased risk of injury.
How does mobility training work?
Several joints in the body contain synovial fluid and cartilage. The cartilage protects the end of each bone and must be maintained to prevent bones from damage when we move. Synovial fluid surrounds the joint and cartilage, lubricating the joint and nourishing the cartilage. When you perform mobility exercises you circulate synovial fluid around the joint which provides nourishment for the joint to keep it healthy and mobile.
Mobility training is definitely not just for athletes, it significantly improves your joint health and can help you maintain your body’s flexibility and ability to move smoothly. This training should be an essential component of your daily routine and it’s never too late to start!