The Importance of Stretching and Mobility

At the age of 15 I began a 10+ year journey with the end goal of representing my family, friends, community, and country on the highest level of athletics, the Olympic Games.  Although I fell short of that goal, I learned valuable lessons regarding exercise and performance.  Among the most important lessons include: 1) How to take care of my body before and after intense bouts of exercise and 2) How to problem solve through performance limitations.  Stretching and mobility exercises played an important role in caring for my body while participating in vigorous exercise and overcoming performance limitations.  Ultimately, I progressed from a novice speed skater in the small state of Iowa to representing the USA at international competitions.  Although these lessons helped me navigate the athletics arena, they may also be applied by anyone interested in improving their fitness and health.  Make a commitment to incorporate stretching and mobility exercises to improve body care and overcome performance limitations.

What benefits can I expect from incorporating stretching and mobility exercises into my routine?
Everyone can benefit from stretching and mobility exercises.  Do you suffer from back pain?  Does your body feel stiff?  Are your muscles sore from hard workouts?  Stretching and mobility exercises can help you decrease pain, stiffness, and muscle soreness.  In addition, stretching and mobility exercises promote mental relaxation, personal enjoyment, and gratification.

Physical Therapists and Personal Trainers here at Performance all agree that alignment, posture and mobility form the foundation of an exercise program that produces optimal results.  Stretching and mobility exercises can help you improve alignment, posture, and functional range of motion, enhancing your exercise routine and getting you closer to your fitness potential.  Make a commitment to incorporating stretching and mobility exercises to your weekly exercise routine and experience the many benefits.

How do I incorporate stretching and mobility into my exercise routine?
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing exercises such as stretching and mobility 2-3 days every week.  For my personal exercise routine, I add 4-6 movements to my warm up, following some light aerobic activity, to increase effectiveness and efficiency.  Your body responds better to stretching and mobility movements when it is warmed up and you save time by incorporating the movements as part of a warm up before more intense forms of exercise.

Want more information?
Check out the dynamic warm up and mobility posters on the wall in the southwest corner of the Performance Health & Fitness track for some ideas and guidance.  This is a great place to get started.

Join my stretch and mobility group fitness class every Thursday at 10:30am at Performance Health & Fitness.  If you are currently receiving treatment at Performance Therapies, you get free access to the gym, including this class! The class consists of a complete warm-up of muscles and joints, a total body stretch, and mobility exercises.  Emphasis is placed on increasing flexibility and joint mobility, decreasing stiffness, and improving the total body range of motion.

If you’d like to schedule a 30-60min private or group training session with a personal trainer, please contact me. This is a great way to learn more about stretching and mobility exercises that will enhance your exercise routine and fitness potential.


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