We take how we move for granted. We wake up, sometimes a little tight, maybe a little sore from yesterday's workout, and we go about our day. Maybe if we are still sore and tight by lunch time, we might take some ibuprofen. Then after work we head back to the gym, maybe stretch for about 5 minutes, maybe do 5 minutes on the treadmill to "warm up" and we get going with our respective workout. What I just described to you is a typical day for the average person the exercises. It's extremely common. I've been in the fitness field for 10 years and that scene is something I observe all of the time. But it's wrong. Everything about that is wrong, with the exception of maybe feeling tight and sore in the morning.
There's a growing movement in the fitness field and I have touched briefly on this before and I'm going to keep talking about it until it finally sinks into your brain. The movement has to deal with increasing mobility and stability to prevent further injury, improve performance, and possibly rehabilitate past injuries. Grey Cook has done a wonderful job of marketing the Functional Movement Screen. More and more universities, high schools, pro teams, and gyms are all starting to incorporate the FMS into their screening and assessment process. I highly recommend you check out www.functionalmovement.com to check out more information about it. Another route you could take is by checking out www.mobilitywod.com. This site is run by Kelly Sterrett and he showcases 2-5 minute videos of mobility exercises you can do everyday.
These gentlemen, along with countless other individuals in the fitness world are moving towards emphasizing mobility exercises before moving on to heavier Olympic lifts. If you're not into Olympic lifts (WHY NOT?), then performing the mobility exercises before taking that spin class, jazzercise, running, rowing, or whatever machine you are heading to. I spoke to a female to today and she was having all kinds of knee problems. I asked her to lay down and allow my to passively move her knee around in its natural range of motion. No pain. So that tells me that her knee pain when she moves is actually coming from her hips (or ankles). I asked her if she has tight hips and she said they are insanely tight. Boom! Imagine that. So I gave her some exercises to do to help loosen up that hip joint. Not just the muscles around the hip, but the joint itself. She said she is going to do these exercises and get back to me on how she feels. I have a feeling that she is going to be feeling a whole lot better if she does these exercises regularly.
By performing mobility and stability exercises daily, you will help your workouts, decrease occurrence of injury, and help rehab some deficiencies you might have from years of training (wrongly). So go check out those 2 sites, seek out some help from your local trainer, or shoot me an email. I'll be glad to help you any way I can. Good luck and happy mobility everyone!