Mobility and stability are the two key driving factors vital for our body to reduce the risk of injury and keep our bodies moving in a pain-free manner. A good level of agility in the body lays a foundation for injury-free workout routines. Lifting heavy weights or doing more reps is not entirely a measure of an effective workout. Instead, it is essential to understand how well your body allows you to indulge your muscles and joints in the workouts. Your body can engage your joints and muscles in the workouts fully only if you have enough mobility and stability.
What do the two magical words, ‘mobility’ and ‘stability’ mean?
Mobility – The capability of our body to optimally function various activities like lengthening of the tissue, moving the joints, relaxing of the nervous system, and neuromuscular system’s capability to control muscle movements through all ranges of motion.
Stability – Every joint in our body has a primary function. The joints are arranged in a certain way to support the body. This ability of the human body to maintain postural equilibrium and support joints during movements is termed as stability.
What are mobility and stability-based warm-up exercises?
Mobility and stability exercises train our bodies for easy movement. These exercises dedicatedly improve your range of motion, which helps you have effective workouts. In addition, mobility and stability training helps in increasing strength and performance and allows the body to sustain more pressure. The warm-ups increase flexibility and enable muscles and tendons to achieve a greater range of motion. Hence, warming up yourself with some mobility and stability moves is vital to staying mobile and stable and preventing injury during workout exercises.
What’s the hidden science behind doing the mobility and stability exercises before a workout?
Stretching before a workout is a common practice by athletes and individuals who regularly work out. Stretching is classified as static and dynamic. Mobility and stability exercises generally include dynamic activities because they help prepare your body for vigorous training. Carrying out these exercises stimulates your muscles, tendons, and nervous system in a dynamic manner. This stimulation helps to handle the strenuous loads and stress that our body undergoes during a workout. In addition, the increased flexibility of the body due to the mobility-stability exercises makes it easier to involve all the muscles and train them effectively.
Here are a few popular mobility-stability exercises.
- Ankle Mobility
Ankles are a crucial supporting joint that supports our body. Good ankle mobility will help you with better balancing, improved performance during compound lifts and enhanced body stability.
This exercise involves rocking back and forth in a tip-toe position. For carrying out this exercise, stand in front of a wall and allow one hand to rest on the wall. Next, rock forward onto your toe and come to a tip-toe position. Similarly, shift back on your heels by lifting toes off the ground. Carry out this exercise at least ten times.
- Frog Stretch
This warm-up exercise improves hip mobility, strengthens back muscles, relieves back tightness, and reduces sciatica pain.
Sit on the ground on your knees and place palms on the floor with shoulders aligned to wrists and knees under hips. Slowly drop your forearms and slide your knees as tolerable and knees bent around 90 degrees. Next, push your hips forward and come back to the original position. Repeat.
- Half Circles for Neck
These are an excellent way of relieving neck tension and the best exercise for inhibiting blood flow to the vertebral arteries.
Start this exercise in a sitting or a standing position. Start by tilting your head to one side till you feel a good stretch and roll your neck downwards towards the other side while brushing your chin to the chest. Repeat the same process but start with the other side. Continue making such half circles and repeat it ten times.
- Arch and Curl
This mobility exercise creates a good stretch in the lower back, abdomen, and chest. In addition, it reduces lower back tightness and allows easy movement of the upper body.
Start on your all fours with wrists aligned to shoulders and knees aligned to hips. Slowly create an inward arch of your spine by lifting the tailbone and chest. At the same time, lower your belly to the ground for a good stretch. Next, create a rounded back arch and drop your tailbone towards the floor while bringing the chin to the chest. Carry out ten such repetitions.
How do mobility-stability exercises take your workouts to the next level?
Adding these mobility and stability exercises in your workout plan and doing them for 5-10 minutes before your main workout is recommended by professionals. These dynamic warm-up exercises will help keep your mobility and flexibility at optimum levels and prepare a highly functional body for workout sessions.
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Nt Shruti Sethna
Certified Sports Nutritionist