If you are someone that exercises regularly, then you know how important it is to keep up with your workouts to maintain the strength and progress you have made.
What is equally important, if not more important, is maintaining your joint health and joint range of motion. Our bodies are in a constant state of “use it or lose it” which applies to our mobility in addition to our strength in order to assist injury prevention.
Every joint in our body can move in various positions. The only way to maintain mobility in our joints is by taking the time to move our body through those positions daily/weekly. As we age, the speed at which we can lose range of motion increases. If you lose mobility in your joints but continue to do the same exercises you have always done, you will start to experience aches and pains that can turn into serious injuries over time. By understanding what range of motion your joints currently have, you can get a better understanding of what exercises are safe to complete and what exercises to avoid to prevent injuries.
Using your shoulder as an example, it is a joint with both rotational and linear capabilities. You can move your shoulder into flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal rotation, and external rotation (see photo for reference of term definitions). Because of the biology of the shoulder, if you start to lose mobility in your rotational capacities (internal and external rotation), it will inevitably affect your linear movements (flexion and extension).
Exercising is helpful for keeping your joints moving, however, most gym exercises only move our bodies in flexion and extension and the other movements in our joints get neglected. A frontal raise, for example, is helpful for maintaining flexion and extension but it will not help you maintain internal or external range of motion. Therefore, it’s important that we place as much emphasis on mobility training as we do strength training and cardiovascular training in order to stay healthy, pain-free, and injury-free.
What makes AFC unique is our educated team of trainers. We take this principle very seriously and make mobility and joint health a top priority during personal training sessions. We also offer head-to-toe joint assessments where we assess the range of motion in every joint in the body. Our goal is to help you understand how your body moves, what is safe to do with your current mobility, and how to improve the range of motion in joints that need it. This is a necessity when dealing with injury prevention.
Comment below with your thoughts on your mobility. Do you feel you could use more mobility?