I’m sure you have heard that we lose flexibility and mobility as we age. This is very true but it is also reversible. I have witnessed this hundred of times throughout my career. I can also speak to you firsthand that you can improve your mobility, flexibility, and overall movement quality. Spoiler Alert: It will take time and consistency, but you will improve.
Ideally, every day you are working on something to improve your mobility. I found that family TV time is my best opportunity to relax and work on myself. I typically start with some soft tissue release to get the body ready to move through new ranges of motion. This leads to a few key areas that I need to work on. My ankles, hips, thoracic spine, and neck are problem areas for me. This makes sense since these are my moveable joints.
Our joints are designed to move in segments but also in a fluid motion. This is accomplished by having mobile and stable joints stacked alternately. Gray Cook and Mike Boyle, two of the greatest minds in the fitness industry, broke this down years ago in several books they authored. Back in 2008, I was intrigued with this approach and I researched this more. Later with this combined knowledge, I was able to start to create my own training system. This system has evolved into the Athlete-Centered Approach and is now the Movement Side of the system.
The joint-by-joint approach states that we have stacked joints in our body and they alternate between mobile and stable joints. Our mobile joint starts at our toes and ends with our neck. Check out the diagram below:
Where to Start
Working on your sticking points is the best way to increase your range of motion as well as have less pain in your body. In my experience, most people have a few sticking points that will decrease your range of motion throughout your body. Once you know where to start, then you know where to go.
In my experience, I usually see the ankle as the first sticking point. We teach our clients how to create mobility through this usually restricted joint. We first start with Self-Myfofascial Release, to help create more range of motion in the ankle joint. The three areas we focus on are; Calves, Anterior Tibilias and Foot Fascia.
These drills can be done daily for 30 – 60 seconds per side. I recommend spending some time in these areas to help free up soft-tissue and support your ankle mobility drills. Check out this YouTube playlist with several mobility drills we incorporate into our clients programs. Besides the foot and ankle, there are other movements that continue up the chain to get total body mobility accomplished.
I recommend picking apart your body daily and focusing on key areas that usually have pain. Look to the joint above or below to help get relief in the painful area. For instance, lower back pain, look at your thoracic spine and/or hips to releive that pain. Neck pain? Look at neck mobility and/or thoracic spine mobility.
If you need help, feel free to book a free strategy session with is HERE! We can help you create a mobility program that will leave you feeling like a champ.