Do you know the 3 biggest problems that hold most triathletes back with mobility training?
If exercise is a major part of your lifestyle and you want to conquer these three mobility training problems to move forward faster to the success you want, read this immediately because the problems and how to solve them are inside this article.
Problem #1: Not Knowing What is Right For You
Not knowing what to do is perhaps the biggest barrier to progression there is! It is a problem because not knowing where to start from often means many people actually never get started at all, or if they do, they end up doing so much that it takes up more and more of their valuable training time as they add an increasing number of movements or techniques in the hope that it will help in some way.
Not knowing what is right for your own body blocks you from successful mobility training and improved fitness/performance because it nurtures feelings of uncertainty, helplessness and frustration, which often lead to people giving up or thinking it is either too hard or they don’t know enough to be able to carry on successfully.
To solve this problem and achieve the fitness/performance success you desire, you need to start from the beginning. Do you know what your body needs without using cues like pain when you touch an area? Can you feel where your movement restrictions are without using a mirror or someone else to tell you? If you answered ‘no’ to either (or both) of these questions then you don’t know what your body needs and it is very likely you will become frustrated with your mobility training efforts. Why? Because you will be relying on external sources for your information.
Using external sources such as pain on touch and visually obvious movement restrictions are the equivalent of someone screaming the problem in front of your face! Waiting until the signs are so glaringly obvious is like ignoring road block signs until the road is actually blocked!
Learning to listen to the less obvious, internal clues that your body gives you not only teaches you what your body actually needs, but also massively speeds up the mobility process on many counts:
- It allows you to strip out all the unnecessary information, reducing the time needed for mobility training
- The time you do spend on mobility will be focused on your actual needs, speeding up your progress
- You will learn the warning signs and be able to deal with them before they develop into painful or restrictive conditions
Your body is communicating its needs all the time and some of these subtleties you will have already learned to recognise such as needing the toilet, feeling hungry/thirsty or knowing you are about to be sick. Learning to recognise the subtleties of movement restriction is no different, it just takes practice!
Using techniques that involve external equipment such as foam rollers or bands can easily distract you from what your body is trying to tell you as your focus shifts to coping with the pain. Which leads me nicely into the second problem . . .
Problem #2: Mobility Training You’ve Done Before is Complex/Painful
We’ve all heard the mantra ‘no pain, no gain’ and no more so than in the fitness industry. In fact, it has been said so often that many people actually believe that if something doesn’t hurt, it’s not doing them any good!
When it comes to mobility training, there’s a plethora of gadgets and gizmos on the market that feed straight into this thinking, whether it’s the leg stretchers from martial arts or the foam rollers found in most gym bags these days, a large amount of the exercise-loving population believe that in order to do any good, mobility training, or even stretching has to be painful.
This is a problem because pain triggers emotional and physiological responses including protection and aggression. These responses are actually counter-productive to your efforts and make the whole job of lengthening your muscles much, MUCH harder!
The protective response that is triggered by pain has a similar effect as you walking down a busy street when everyone else is walking towards you. It doesn’t necessarily stop you from getting where you want to go, but it just makes the whole job harder, leaving you feeling tired, frustrated and sometimes a bit beaten up!
Not only does the mobility training feel unpleasant when it is painful, but when you are fighting your body like that, the effects are only temporary. You are then left in a cycle of your body not moving well, the process of helping it move better is unpleasant and tiring, and you must do it immediately before you train to get the most benefit from it. After you’ve trained and your muscles tighten up again, you’re left in a very similar situation to the last time, meaning you must repeat the whole cycle again.
This problem blocks you from achieving the mobility training success you want because inflicting pain on ourselves goes against every instinct we have. I mean, it would take a lot of determination, and probably a lot of practice, to intentionally drop a brick on your foot! Your instinct would be to move your foot before the brick got there wouldn’t it? To intentionally choose to inflict such pain through mobility training means that you are fighting every instinct from your body to move away from the pain.
To solve this problem, the answer is really simple . . . use dynamic stretching. This mobility training technique really is the best one I know (read here for a full article on why). It will teach you the subtleties of your own body and allow you to unstick them without pain, external equipment or even a dedicated time for doing it!
Dynamic stretching is a slow, controlled, constantly moving way of improving your movement, that my clients have affectionately nicknamed ‘wiggling’. You don’t need any prior knowledge of anatomy or even any particular stretch positions. It’s all based on what you can FEEL your body doing in any given movement at any given position.
This technique is so powerful, I ditched my foam roller about 3 years ago and now I’ve found the best place for it is in the bin!
Problem #3: Believing That Progressing with Mobility Training Takes Ages
It may be that you’ve been doing your mobility training with external equipment and you’re experiencing a lack of progress, or you’ve heard others complain about how little progress they’re making with their technique, but believing that progression with mobility training takes ages can encourage exercise enthusiasts to think that their time would be better spent elsewhere. This is a problem because not doing any mobility training at all will lead to injury and movement avoidance, reducing the longevity of your participation in the activity you love.
In order to get the mobility training progress and success that you’re looking for, you have to at least start doing something and perhaps the easiest way to do this is to find opportunities to fit it into your day. You could start by using the couple of minutes it takes for the kettle to boil, or while you’re cleaning your teeth.
Fitting your mobility training into daily routines means that you can expose your body to better movement frequently throughout the day. You won’t need to warm up, or cool down, get changed or even break a sweat!
To get started learning about your body’s own needs, check out my FREE Super 12 Warm Up video at mostmotion.com. You’ll find movements for all areas of the body, begin to learn where your body is stuck and how to unstick it in a few simple moves!
When you have created your FREE account, come over and join us in the Facebook group and let us know how you’re getting on! The community will provide loads more videos, articles and support to help you achieve the mobility success you’re looking for. I look forward to hearing how things are improving!