Top Fitness Tips: Number 7

Stability and Mobility:

So, we have been training away or maybe we have decided that we want to start exercising again after neglecting it for a long while. We jump right in to lifting weights, running, trying to eat better but we forget one of the foundations of any exercise program – ‘Stability and Mobility’. When we talk about stability and mobility we are talking about our joints. We are looking for stability in our Scapulothoracic joint, Lumbar Spine, Knee, and Foot whilst we want to have good mobility in our Glenohumeral joint, Thoracic Spine, Hip and Ankle. By having appropriate stability and mobility in these joints allows us to have good posture and to move better.

A lack of mobility can be down to a number of factors such as a lack of activity, an imbalanced training program, repetitive movements, bad posture and poor exercise technique to name just a few. For example, somebody who spends a lot of their time sitting at a computer or driving (this can lead to tight hip flexors and weak hamstrings) with their shoulders rounded (this can lead to tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles) are going to end up with poor posture. Same can happen with an imbalanced training program where one group of muscles are trained more (lets use chest for an example) than the opposite group of muscles (back) this can lead to an imbalance with rounded shoulders due to tightened chest which pulls the shoulders forward as the back muscles lengthen as they are weaker.

If you have a lack of stability and mobility which prevents you from having good posture and able to move the way you should this will inherently lead to issues further down the line when you start loading the body with weights. If you can’t squat properly just using your body weight (ie knees buckling in, back rounding etc) imagine what is going to happen if you add weight. Therefore, it is important that you spend a few weeks addressing any discrepancies before starting resistance training. The good news is that most of these issues can be fixed by incorporating  functional programming for stability-mobility and movement. By improving your stability and mobility you will also improve your ability to to everyday activities. Speak to an instructor here in Felda, in your club or to your PT about doing some posture and movement assessments with you to see if there are any weaknesses and see about addressing them.