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Mobility is a word that we hear a lot when we talk about movement and fitness, but what exactly does it mean?  Mobility is the ability of a joint to move freely through its full range of motion.  

It’s very important to include mobility in your weekly training routine because it has many significant benefits. Mobility increases flexibility, range of motion, blood flow, and muscle activation.  It decreases the risk of injury, muscle soreness, joint pain, and bad posture.

There are several joints in the body that are meant to have mobility:

  • Ankle
  • Hip
  • Thoracic spine (mid spine)
  • Gleno-humeral (arm and shoulder socket)
  • Wrist 

There are several techniques you can use to help increase your mobility.  Some examples are foam rolling, performing dynamic movements, and using resistance bands.

  • Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release, which is like a deep tissue massage for the muscles. It breaks up muscle adhesions and helps speed up muscle recovery after exercise. 
  • Dynamic movements engage muscle groups in an active range of motion as opposed to a static hold stretch.  These are especially great for implementing during a warm-up, using movements similar to the ones you will be doing in your workout. 
  • Resistance bands are great because they allow you to move your joints through a range of motion while gently adding tension.

Try to perform at least three to five mobility movements several times a week to help improve your workout performance, move more freely throughout the day and feel better overall. To get started, visit the HealthEase Fitness Facebook page to watch me demonstrate Wall Sits for your mid spine. 

by HealthEase fitness professional Alex Michaels, BS, ACE CHC, FNS