Stress is through the roof right now! That typically means that our bodies aren’t up to performing at the same high level that we may want or are use to either. It also is probably reflected in the fact that our body is holding more tension than normal and our mobility doesn’t look awesome. I would guess most of you are nodding your heads, but you also want to train and take the time you do have to improve your fitness goals. Can we take care of your body and still allow you to train? When you see better mobility training ideas like we are going to share today you will see possible.
The 2 BIGGEST Misunderstandings in Mobility Training
Mobility training was a hot topic before all the coronavirus craziness started and I think it is still a big deal because of what I just mentioned. Trying to train hard or be productive when your body feels all bound up isn’t going to go so well. However, that has also led to basically everyone who has interest post about how you should be performing your mobility training. Most have a very extensive background in martial arts, yoga, gymnastics, etc. So, unless you too have years of training in these activities, you can’t just throw your leg over your head and say it was because you did exercise “x”.
This has led to two REALLY big misunderstandings of mobility training and people just saying things that aren’t true. Like what?
First we have the idea of tension. This stems from the idea that much of mobility training issues are really stability issues of the body. The nervous system perceives a threat because the body doesn’t feel stable (most typically the spine) and therefore it throws on the brakes. We see that most profoundly in the shoulders and hips because these are areas that SHOULD have good movement to them, but get shut down quickly when the body identifies instability.
Tension comes into play as a means of helping the body find and establish stability. However, tension JUST for tension sake doesn’t work as I have written a lot about but created this video to help better define the point…
You see quickly that creating tension has to be specific and is ALWAYS better done with load because we get better activation of the core muscles. Tension WITHOUT load is far less effective because we don’t get that feedback to the body. That is why we do anything possible to not just use load, but use load with great purpose as I explain in our Dead Bug Press Outs that are simple but super powerful for mobility training if done with the right intent!
Bands we use for feedback, upon whatever side of the body we are not able to expose load to very well. Bands won’t replace load like you see in the Dead Bug because the Ultimate Sandbag gives us both horizontal and vertical loading. However, on areas of the body like the lower body it can be a HUGE help in providing feedback to the body.
Sarah Rippel does a great job showing the progressions where we use leverage to apply more load to the core. However, the key is to GO SLOW (I would pick on Sarah to go even slower here) and keep that tension of pulling apart the entire time!
You see that is what a lot of people miss in our DVRT mobility training. They just see us moving weight, but as I break down in the half kneeling Arc Press is ALL goes back to joint angles and how we are using the load!
So, it isn’t just holding the Ultimate Sandbag that is important, but what we do while we are holding it. There is a HUGE difference in the results we get, especially in our mobility training, if we “break the weight apart” or let our hands just push the weight together (which we don’t want).
Even when we go to target specific areas of the body like strength coach Martin Adame shows, we want to use these concepts. Which brings us to the other mistake which is the body is ALWAYS integrated. Trying to isolate joints or muscles just isn’t how the body functions, nor will cause the response you want!
The results are pretty dramatic because they show how we bring the science of better mobility training to more practical exercises. Helping the body connect to its natural chains allows the nervous system to take the breaks off and we see that rapid improvement like Martin shows below.
How confident am I in these mobility training ideas? There are so many people promoting themselves as experts, it can be hard to know what to believe. That is why I share real stories. Like that of a 70 year old woman who had two shoulder replacements in a span of two years. During that time she went through intensive physical therapy which yielded the range of motion you see on the left. That was after a year of treatment, on the right was 5 minutes of giving her one of these DVRT drills. Being mindful of the load we are using and the position we had her in. Pretty cool right? Not bad for it being my mother in-law;) These results are real though, but you have to be thoughtful about how you use these concepts of mobility training to get better results!
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