General guidelines for mobility training.
These are a few quick guidelines that will help you be more effective when you mobilise and ensure you are making the most use of your time.
Test retest approach
This approach is used as a diagnostic tool to measure any changes after a particular intervention has been used, for example testing range of movement before and after some massage or joint manipulation. We can use this approach when we are looking to improve our range of movement when looking to train too. If we have a squat session planned its a good idea to see how you feel in the bottom of that position first, then see if you notice any areas of restriction that could be holding you back. Perform a few mobility drills then test the movement again and see if it made a positive change or not. Are your ankles feeling less tight allowing you to get more depth? Is your back more supple so you can keep your chest up? Are your hips looser so you aren’t getting that pinching feeling as you descend? This approach allows you to see whether what you are doing is working or not, optimising your time.
Spending around 10-15 minutes a day working on good body positioning can reap dividends when it comes to sports performance. This doesn’t just mean performing endless mobility drills but can be something like being more spatially aware of how you are sitting or moving around. Our body is great at adapting, if we focus on improving at something and practice it regularly then we will improve and adapt. This approach is best implemented with short doses of mobility work done everyday which makes it more manageable over the long term.
Maintain good positioning throughout
Its easier to achieve more range at certain joints when you sacrifice range at another. For example, you can get more shoulder extension when you extend back through your spine. However, all this does is compress and irritate structures of the spine, encourage bad joint positioning and ingrain poor movement patterns.
About the author,
Michael is an Osteopath, trainee strength coach and competitive powerlifter.