We spend our lives chasing mobility in some form. As babies, we learn to scoot, crawl and walk. As children, we learn to ride bikes. As teenagers, many of us learn to drive. As adults, mobility is more focused on how to move our bodies more and better.
Although mobility and flexibility work hand-in-hand--you can't have full mobility without flexibility--they are actually two different concepts. Flexibility is a muscle's ability to stretch. Mobility is a joint's ability to move through its intended range of motion. U.S. News & World Report offers this explanation of mobility:
If you think about your shoulder joint, which is shaped like a ball-and-socket, it's designed so that you can move your arm forward, backward, side-to-side and in circles. If it can move like it should, the joint has healthy mobility. If, however, you can't move in all of those directions - maybe you can't keep your arms next to your ears when raising your arms overhead - that's a lack of mobility. And it can increase your risk of injury or larger movement issues down the road.
Just like strength and flexibility, mobility is something your body can learn. In some ways, it can be easier since you arguably move every day. From your fingers to your toes, your neck to your knees, you should be spending at least a few minutes each day working joints through their full range of motion to both preserve and expand on your mobility. If you don't move it, you will lose it.
Keep in mind that flexibility is a prerequisite for mobility. If your muscles are tight and refuse to extend, you're not going to access the full range of motion in your joints. With that in mind, myofascial release should be a component of your mobility routine. And, when it comes to selecting a tool for myofascial release, you can't go wrong with the TRX Rocker.
The Rocker is more than just a glorified foam roller; it's the only tool that promotes rocking, a hyper-focused muscle release technique that increases blood flow and circulation, and improves relaxation and recovery overall. With a distinctive tear-drop design, it has three levels of intensity for a full progression of release.
If you have a limited amount of time for mobility, hips and glutes are two of the best areas to target because they help you walk or run more comfortably, and stand or sit up taller. Start your mobility exercises by rocking with your TRX Rocker, and continue with hinging, lunging, and rotations to build on your overall mobility.
Next, slip your TRX Exercise Band around your thighs--a few inches above the knees--for a banded hip press. Lying down on your back, you'll push your hips up toward the ceiling while maintaining tension on the exercise band. The mini band will help activate your glute medius, which can also improve the way your glute max fires. You can also use target the glute medius in a standing exercise like a banded side step or banded side kick.
Mobility is a learned function, and it's never too late to start learning. As you build a fitness routine, try to set aside time each day for flexibility and mobility work. Even a few minutes a day can yield stronger, faster and better movement.