The days of relying on massage therapists or doctors to help manage your aches, pains and lack of mobility are over. Our knowledge of mobility drills and self-myofascial release has increased substantially over the past 10 years and it’s clear that everyone should take ownership over how they move and feel. Time is scarce and many people know what they need to be doing but don’t know how to do it.
Enter the mobility class that will soon dominate the fitness facility and health club landscape. Here are 3 reasons why every club should have a mobility class offered throughout the week to their members:
Optimal mobility is very important because the brain is always taking in information about the position of our body in space and time. We are born with optimal mobility, but we lose it due to repetitive stress and/or injuries, so mobility work is regaining what was lost. A really simple ratio is age vs percentage of exercise time spent on mobility. Consider a 60-year-old who doesn’t move very well and is dealing with some aches and pains. In that case, 60 percent of their time should be devoted to mobility and movement while the remaining 40 percent is reserved for strength training and other performance related goals. That scale can apply to pretty much every age.
Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle/fascia immobility and pain that utilizes various tools to massage your own body. Research shows that the practice is successful in improving mobility, preventing injury, aiding in recovery from exercise and reducing muscle soreness. It should be an integral part of your warm-up, cool-down and recovery, but it should also be a part of your weekly fitness schedule. It turns out that duration is more important than frequency when it comes to SMR, so a class format provides clients with the opportunity to prioritize it.
Everyone needs to pay attention to their mobility. When you shoot a rubber band, the farther back you pull it, the more tension there is, and the farther it shoots. The greater your joint mobility, the greater your range of motion, and the more tension and stability you’ll be able to generate. As the body of research continues to grow it is clear that it’s safe and effective for warm-up prior to athletic pursuits with no adverse effects. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about static stretching which has been shown to increase your risk of injury.