Do you think mobility and strength training don’t go together? Here you can find out why good mobility can even improve your strength training (in the long term).
Since mobility is not my specialty, I asked Zimo from FitnessAgony to write this guest article. Mobility training is an important part of his training. You can see that on his blog as well as on his Instagram channel.
Why mobility also plays an important role in your strength training in order to move more weight and what you can do to improve your mobility, he now explains:
Again and again you see the guys in the gym coming out of the locker room and going straight to the machines and free weights. For the Warmup , a set is briefly performed with a light weight, then it starts: the heavier the weights, the better. The number of repetitions made must be achieved, regardless of whether the execution suffers. In an emergency, it is also sufficient if only half the range of motion is completed.
No wonder that such training does not achieve the desired success or that injuries due to overload and incorrect movement sequences occur. This type of injury can often be avoided with a few minutes of warm-up mobility.
Mobility exercises do not reduce your strength, as many think. They even help you to get more strength. Those who are flexible can perform many movements better, do not have to work with momentum or avoid the correct sequence of movements through relieving postures. In the long term, this can even help to build strength and muscle mass .
Two strength exercises that require good mobility
Actually, mobilization makes sense for all exercises in your strength training. Especially with the Basic exercises you benefit from good mobility.
However, your mobility is particularly important in the following two exercises, which should be part of any good strength training plan.
Mobility for squats / squats
Squats or squats is probably the exercise in which poor mobility is most noticeable. If you are not flexible enough in your spine, hips, knees and ankles, you will not be able to perform a clean squat in the full range of motion.
When your heels lift off the floor in a deep squat or your back becomes rounded, you know you need to work on those areas. Otherwise you can never develop your full strength potential and stay below your performance potential.
Mobility for deadlifts / deadlifts
Even with the deadlift / the deadlift , mobility is an important basic requirement for a clean sequence of movements. The elasticity of the back of the thighs and mobility in the hip joint and spine play a particularly important role here.
If you have to bend your knees too much during a deadlift or if your pelvis tilts in the starting position so that your lower back is rounded, you should work on these two weak points. Stretches for the back of the thighs and mobilization exercises for the hips are now helpful.
Stretching and mobility exercises for your strength training
In the following section you will find five stretching and mobility exercises that you can easily integrate into your warm-up in order to become even stronger during strength training (in the long term).
Probably the fastest way to briefly open and stretch both the entire front and the entire back of your body. The advantage of this exercise is that you not only stretch your muscles, but at the same time also open your shoulder and hip joints, mobilize your spine and even your ankles.
You are standing with your legs straight. The feet are close together. Now let your upper body hang forward. Stay relaxed and feel the tension on your calves and back of your thighs. Hold this position for about 20 seconds.
Then you straighten up, stretch your arms over your head and form a slight hollow back. You actively push your hips forward. Hold this position for only 5 seconds and let yourself hang over again. Repeat this step three times.
This exercise also stretches the front and back of the body. Here, however, the expansion is more punctual and less dynamic. This stretch is particularly suitable as a cooldown exercise
Put your hands on a box, chair, table or on a wall as shown in the picture. Just let your upper body hang down until you feel a slight pull on the front shoulder area. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Shake out your arms briefly. Then get back into position. Repeat this process three times.
Calf Stretch Ankle Mobility
Try to actively push your knees forward. Your goal is for your knee to hit the wall. At the beginning you stand on the entire foot in the starting position. Later you stand on your heel and thus reduce the angle of your ankle even more.
Ankle Mobility Hip Opener
The heel seat is perfect for stretching, opening and mobilizing your ankle in both directions. In order to relieve the strongly stretched instep again and again, push your hips forward as far as you can.
Include these five exercises as a warmup before your next strength training and watch how your flexibility improves in squat and deadlift. By the way: The often feared loss of strength due to stretching before training is only minimal. It only occurs after particularly long stretching units (more than approx. 40 seconds) per stretch.