This is an older article that I pulled from the archives that I thought was good for explaining the significance of mobility for your performance. The original publishing date for today’s article was back on June 2, 2016.
If you’re looking to step up your fitness and performance you absolutely need to make sure that your joint mobility is optimal. If you really want to know how important this is then you need to make sure you read this article in full. Read and apply.
I always like using the analogy that the body is just like a car engine. Anybody familiar with cars understands that you’ve got to allow an engine to be broken in. If the engine has some miles on it then you need to allow it time to warm up after you fire it to ensure you can have an enjoyable trouble free ride.
Fluids have to warm up, hoses have to warm, and the oil itself needs to warm so it can become a bit less viscous and less like maple syrup. All of these factors play into the engine running better lubricated, smoother, faster, and without setbacks. Your body works in the exact same way.
Dynamic Motion: The Warm Up And Firing Process…
Your neuromuscular system is essentially what fires your body (the engine) into moving. Nerves innervate muscles for movement so in essence they are delivering the message to say contract. This process is complex and as some muscles contract in a shortening motion (concentric contraction) others lengthen (eccentric contraction) in the contraction process.
Likewise your joints are protected with a soft cushion of cartilage and a viscous substance known as synovial fluid. Synovial fluid provides lubrication for your joints (like your own engine oil) and every time you move your joints lubricate with this fluid which lines the joint, protects it, and serves for moving waste out of the joint cartilage. Learning movement is essential for a healthy life and is the absolute closest thing you can get to the fountain of youth.
If you don’t believe me take a look at some athletes such as MMA fighters. As you know I’ve had the luxury of working with Muay Thai, MMA, Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling athletes. These athletes move very well. Everything they do in their sport revolves around learning the mastery of movement and as a result they are tough, strong, powerful, and graceful moving athletes.
Aside from the rigors of their sport they very seldom suffer from injuries related to training. Once again it’s because of the grace of movement involved in their sport and lifestyle of training.
To take this further these athletes are able to compete throughout their lives at a very high level. Once again if you don’t believe me then take a look at Randy Couture. He became the UFC champion while being over 40 years old.
The key to prepping for movement is making sure you understand how to target the movements and joints necessary for whatever task is at hand. For instance, if we’re going to be squatting or deadlifting we want to make sure that we work on getting the hips ready for the stress of the lift. The hip joints have to be mobile and we want to make sure our hip flexors, adductors, abductors, hamstrings, and glutes are ready to fire that particular movement. The spiderman stretch is a great way to help you prepare to do just that.
Likewise if you’re looking to prep your body for the acting of performing more athletic movements such as sprinting, skipping, and jumping then there are other ways to get the body firing in that specific pattern as well.
Dynamic Motion: The Takeaway
At the end of the day your body is just like a car engine. It requires maintenance, preparation for driving, and you can’t let sit around all day everyday. Your nervous system has to be activated for the purpose of the movement at hand.
When implementing dynamic stretching (dynamic motion) for the task at hand you will want to be athletically specific in terms of what movements you are engaging in for the day’s work. Take the time to mobilize the related joints and to train your body for moving prior to moving!
What dynamic motion are you currently implementing for your training?
Don’t be shy about posting up in the comments below.
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