Mobility training has become increasingly popular in recent years, initially involving simple activities such as foam rolling and lacrosse ball work, but now often involving complex pre-training rituals. It is important to prepare the body for exercise, but you also need to work on maintaining or improving your mobility.
The things you needed when you started working out at the gym may not be relevant now that you have more experience. How you prepare to lift heavy weights may need to change over time, depending on your lifting avenue of choice and other lifestyle factors.
What is Mobility Exercise?
The purpose of mobility exercises is to improve the range of motion of your joints and the muscles around them, as well as to increase the number of repetitions you can do. If you have a good mobility program, you can become more agile and flexible while also gaining lean muscle mass. A good Mobility Program will typically start with a short warm-up to get the muscles moving, followed by a mix of new and old movements, taught in a flowing sequence. There are certain exercises that can be done one after the other to create a routine that works out your entire body. Mobility programs can vary in length, with most people seeing an improvement in joint mobility soon after they start.
3 Reasons Why You Should Train Your Mobility
Some health benefits associated with a good range of motion are that it can improve your cardiovascular system, increase your flexibility, and help your muscles to work more efficiently. Additionally, a good range of motion can be a great companion in sports like Calisthenics, fitness, and bodybuilding that require strength and movement. Flexibility is an important aspect of physical activity as it decreases the risk of injury to muscles and joints. As we age, our bodies become less flexible, so it is important to maintain or improve flexibility through stretching. Here are three compelling reasons why you should be following one of the best Mobility Programs.
1. Fight Obesity, Activate Your Body
If you’re struggling with obesity, a Calisthenics Program may offer training exercises that are impossible for you. Many popular workout programs today require individuals to use their own body weight to move their limbs. However, this type of workout could actually do more harm than good, or even be impossible for some people. Mobility programs can help you burn calories, strengthen muscles and ligaments, and prepare for future calisthenics exercises. Starting is the hardest part, and you’ll find that it’s a difficult journey. Having a good Mobility Program can help you achieve your goals.
2. Prevent Injury, Increase Gains
For those who are passionate about sports, a Mobility Program can help improve flexibility in the core and limbs, which can prevent injuries. Having greater agility gives you an advantage against someone who can’t match your speed. It can also help you make better progress in, for instance, weight or the number of repetitions. If you keep the internals of your machines well-oiled and maintained, you will find that it is easier and quicker to become stronger.
3. Stay Healthy, Promote Longevity
We have become accustomed to sitting and doing very little because we do not get much physical activity in our daily lives. The benefits of this include maintaining the function of our joints and a slower aging process. The fact that we have a sedentary lifestyle has caused our life expectancy to increase by a lot compared to people in the past who had to do manual labor. Now we’ve gone to the other extreme where some people hardly move at all during their typical day. More than half of the population is suffering from obesity, stiffness, and atrophy of muscles and ligaments. Heart and coronary disease have replaced all other illnesses as the number one cause of death because people are now living more sedentary lifestyles.
Best Mobility Workout for Beginners
Any beginner, regardless of which kind of exercise they are doing, should make sure they can do the basics safely.
Hinges, squats, lunges, pushes and pulls use different planes of motion that can be used in early training phases to improve mobility through loaded stretching and reinforce the proper technique of these key exercises. If you want to spend more time in the loaded stretched positions, you can add tempo or pauses.
Weight lifters who are just starting out should focus on using bodyweight variations. However, adding light weights can help your muscles get used to new ranges of motion. To get the most out of your workout, you should match the prescribed set and repetition scheme with an appropriate load. Choose a load that will provide a moderate challenge and helps you maximize results.
- Paused Goblet Squat: 3 x 6
- Tempo Front-Foot Elevated Split Squat: 2 x 8 per leg
- Tempo Romanian Deadlift: 2 x 10
- Underhand Lat Pulldown: 3 x 10
- Paused Machine Pec Fly: 2 x 10
Best Mobility Workout for The Office
You can structure your mobility workouts to help offset any potential restrictions from your sedentary office job. A common problem for people who work in an office is that they sit in the same position for long periods of time and their shoulders become rounded. You can target those parts of the body with exercises that can be done anywhere.
Calisthenics and unilateral movements are great exercises to do at work to improve your mobility. There is limited space to exercise here, so you may want to do these exercises multiple times throughout the day.
- Deficit Push-Up: 3 x 10
- Paused Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat: 2 x 10 per leg
- Assisted Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift: 2 x 10 per leg
- Bodyweight Windmill: 3 x 6 per side
- Front Plank: 3 x 30 seconds
Best Mobility Workout for Home
You can do mobility training at home with more variety than at the office. If you’re lucky enough to have a good home gym, you’re in a better position than many people. You can still get great training in mobility by adapting to your environment.
There is a lot of similarity between the types of exercises that are beneficial for office workers and those that are beneficial for people who work from home. Thankfully, at-home mobility workouts can help you achieve multiple goals simultaneously instead of just offsetting a sedentary lifestyle.
There are a lot of ways to stay flexible by using everyday objects and basic equipment. For example, you can use stairs and unfinished basement ceilings. Although the equipment is helpful, it is not necessary for exercises such as extended range-of-motion calisthenics that can be easily adapted.
- Paused Step-Up: 2 x 10 per leg
- Deficit Reverse Lunge: 2 x 10 per leg
- Dead-Hang Band Lat Pulldown: 3 x 10
- Paused Pullover: 2 x 10
- Incline Push-Up: 2 x 10
Best Mobility Workout for Powerlifting
There are three main lifts in powerlifting: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Working out in a way that improves key lifts or prevents loss of mobility from regularly training in the same movement patterns is very helpful for staying healthy during a competition season.
Powerlifters can maintain the right mix of mobility by using movement variations, unilateral work and planes of motion that are not often seen in powerlifting competitions. This will help them achieve their goal of maximal strength.
The amount of weight you lift is an important factor to consider when designing a powerlifting training routine. Bodyweight exercises can be effective at improving mobility, but they are unlikely to be enough to improve strength for powerlifting. As you get stronger, you often need to use heavier weights to see results in your fitness.
- Contralateral-Load Lateral Lunge: 3 x 10 per side
- Paused Cable Pullover: 2 x 12
- Half-Kneeling Single-Arm Cable Pulldown: 2 x 12 per side
- Landmine Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift: 2 x 10 per side
- Ab Rollout: 3 x 10
Best Mobility Workout for Weightlifting
Weightlifting is a more dynamic activity than powerlifting, which has a specific range of motion goal. There are positions that are overhead, with a very deep squat, and movements that are explosive and coordinated. If you have trouble moving around, weightlifting may not be the best option for you as it is very easy to get injured doing things like the snatch and cleaning.
Weightlifting mobility workouts should focus on the ankle, hip, shoulder, and thoracic spine. This type of exercise routine includes exercises that focus on training the muscles used in overhead shoulder positioning, and deep hip, and knee flexion, and should include incorporating rotation to get the most benefit from the routine.
- Cossack Squat: 2 x 10 per side
- Tempo Overhead Squat: 2 x 10
- Kettlebell Windmill: 3 x 5 per side
- Lateral Raise: 3 x 15
- Contralateral Landmine Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift: 2 x 12 per side
The 6 Best Mobility Programs
This list contains the best mobility programs to help you become agile, couple a flow with your Calisthenics exercise, or activate your body to become fit and healthy.
1. Cali Move Mobility
Level: Beginner to Master
Length: 24 weeks
Cali Move has done it again with their latest program designed to help people improve their mobility in just six months. You will start out learning the basics and then gradually become more knowledgeable. The program consists of three 8-week phases. Each phase introduces new techniques for you to learn. The game is easy to learn for beginners because you can keep playing lower levels until you improve your skills enough to move onto the next level. The program is represented by a sleek bullet-list style. You’ll have a plan and know exactly what to do after going through the prep week. The exercises in the program are demonstrated by Calisthenics master Alex Lorenz in HD video, as well as in video format for each day’s routine.
2. VahVa Movement 20xx
Level: Beginner to Master
Length: 24 weeks
VahVa Fitness has impressed us with its excellent online courses. They are narrated in excellent English. The Movement 20XX program is a combination of martial arts, dance, and fitness that will push you to be highly agile. This program is designed for beginners, focusing on improving strength and flexibility over a 6-month period. The program can be customized to fit anyone’s needs, lifetime access is granted, and the focus is on developing quality skills instead of meeting repetitions quotas. This program is presented in high-definition video format by Eero Westerberg and provides full schedules for you to follow. VahVa Fitness’ goal is to help you make mental changes and adopt new habits based on the Finish cultural mentality called “Sisu”, which can be translated roughly as “hardiness”.
3. The Ready State Movement & Mobility 101
Level: Intermediate to Professionals
One way to learn something effectively is to teach it to someone else. The Ready State’s Movement & Mobility 101 course is a professional grade course taken by top coaches across the United States. The aforementioned organizations utilize the Mobility Program to instruct their coaches. The Movement & Mobility 101 course is designed to turn you into an expert in the field of movement and mobility, based on decades of empirical science from the NFL, NBA, and NHL. The course is made up of 77 short videos covering topics such as movement, diagnosis, progression, and mechanics.
4. MovNat Professional Live Events
Level: Beginner to Master
Length: Events are 3-days
MovNat is a fitness system that is based on the idea of returning to a more natural way of movement and exercising. They believe that it is better to train in nature because we are natural beings. The most appealing aspect of MovNat to us was their event formats, not their new-age idealism. MovNat offers professional, individualized feedback and coaching, making it a good alternative to cookie-cutter programs. The three-day event will start with professional coaching in a gym setting teaching you the techniques you need to move effectively in nature. The next two days will be spent in the wilderness, where you will receive training.
5. Legendary Flexibility by JujiMufu
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Men can’t do side splits? Legendary Flexibility, by legendary YouTuber Jujimufu, allows men to achieve levels of flexibility that were thought to be only achievable by women. This E-book is focused on helping you improve your mobility and agility, with over 225 pages of practical tips and how-tos. It is rife with high-quality, colored photos of how to execute exercises, along with embedded HD-quality videos. Jujimufu provides step-by-step guidance on how to safely and gradually progress through a variety of stretching exercises, all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home. This program provides you with quick and easy access to a flexibility manual without any premade plans or flows.
6. The Movement Athlete
Level: Beginner to Master
Length: self-paced, indefinite
This app is perfect for those who are looking for an easy and convenient calisthenics workout. The Movement Athlete is not entirely focused on Mobility, but it does emphasize agility and skill-based bodily exercise. The ideal movement athlete would be someone who is equally strong, stable, and mobile. The app is designed so that you can easily find what you need and present information as you need it. You will take an assessment to find out your strengths, weaknesses, and fitness level. The app creates a training plan for you based on your goals, with a progression curve based on what you want to achieve. If you want to change your goals or make your training more difficult, you can do that yourself.