The plethora of information on mobility is insane. From the “general fitness” world (Men's Health, Women's Health etc.), to the more serious training end of the spectrum, the advice towards everyone getting more mobile is very popular.
The mobility market has turned into a multimillion-dollar business and those that are the bendiest rise to the top with their impressive noodle leg photos. To help become more mobile, various tools are now available from the simple foam roller, BOOMSTICK and the Theragun. However, should we all be striving for more mobility because we have a sore neck, a tight hip or bad posture?
Knowing when you need mobility is important. I frequently hear people saying that they should be doing more Yoga or more static stretching because they’re “tight”. Tightness is subjective unless you’ve had a physical assessment.
Really, your lifestyle choices will dictate your mobility requirements. If you sit on the couch all day without any exercise, then mobility isn’t necessary. If you do any of the following; golf, tennis, running, hiking, spinning, gym, then having mobility in the necessary joints will help.
This is a selection of examples of recommended flexibility ranges:
Tennis Range Of Motion
120+ degrees of shoulder external rotation
Golf Range Of Motion
30+ degrees of thoracic spine rotation
Hiking Range of Motion
120 degrees of hip flexion
Spinning Range of Motion
170 degree of shoulder flexion
Gym Range of Motion
30 degrees of ankle dorsiflexion
If you don’t know how to assess your range of motion, then seek out a coach that can help test your mobility.
Watch this video to compare yourself to the movements I demonstrate to assess dynamic mobility and strength through a variety of exercises.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that in the shoulder movements, my right arm doesn’t reach as far as my left arm. You may think that my right shoulder has had an injury, however, my right is the healthiest shoulder. My left has caused me problems in the past, even with significantly more mobility. These is a case of more mobility not being the answer.