What Is Mobility?

Mobility over flexibility, I’ve had that simple motto for a while now,  meaning as runners we need to focus on our overall mobility in the running range of motion over general flexibility… but what is mobility?

Mobility – The ability to move freely and easily

Essentially mobility is everything to running. Your ability to move freely in the running plane of motion is incredibly important and this mobility can be hindered by:

Tight muscles

Lack of local flexibility

General form issues (side to side movement)

Hip flexibility (ability to drive your knee upwards)

Upper Body

Flexibity, “your legs follow your arms”

Torsion of your torso (think twisting side to side)

Simple right?

So let me explain “mobility over flexibility”

Is flexibility important? Absolutely, but flexibility for the sake of flexibility isn’t optimizing your time. Static stretching will make you flexible but your dynamic flexibility hasn’t changed much. So working on flexibility using dynamic poses is far more successful, reaching down to touch your toes isn’t exactly a running specific motion right? Therefore, mobility is localized flexibility in relation to your running form, you need flexible hips and glutes because those muscle groups are directly responsible for knee lift and drive.

Chad and I have talked about this before but how you work on your mobility is extremely individualized. We all have our own tight muscle groups and past injury history. A good mobility plan will take that into effect and use it in reference to your running form.

Take a look at my video below where I take you through an initial running form consultation and show you what I look at when I look at mobility in general.

 

Here are the 3 methods of increasing your mobility, and then you will individualize within these methods:

Running Form Drills (as demonstrated in the video above)

Mobility exercises (these were popularized by Kelly Starrett and are hyper-focused on individual muscle groups)

Myo-fascial release (foam rolling and other methods to release muscle tension and allow the muscle to function properly)

I hope you could learn something from that but if you have questions go ahead and ask them in the comments of this article and I would love to answer them.

You can also reach out to me on Instagram and Twitter or maybe I answered your question on a recent episode of my podcast Running Through It.

Happy Running,

Justin

Muscle Soreness – What to do?

online fitness coaching - muscle soreness

If you’ve ever done strenuous activity, you’ve probably had muscle soreness from it. It can actually be really easy to get at times, but the question becomes how do I get rid of it and how long should I be resting before I workout again? In this video, I talk about the two types of muscle soreness and whether or not it’s good to workout.

Muscle soreness is a very common part of exercise if you’re challenging yourself properly. For some, muscle soreness is actually the reference point for whether or not they’ve worked out hard enough. Regardless of how you get it, it can be a very painful experience. At the very least, it’s definitely not pleasurable.

In my opinion, there are two types of muscle soreness. I’ll classify them as good soreness and bad soreness. Good soreness is when you’ve worked out hard and you feel it the next day. There’s discomfort in moving around but not a lot of serious pain. Bad muscle soreness is when there is a lot more pain. It can be very challenging to move around, especially after being stationary for a while. This is because there has been a lot of micro-tearing of the muscle fibers and they’re needing repair.

The question now is: should I workout, or should I rest?

With good muscle soreness, it’s actually beneficial to workout. The movement of the muscles and blood flow to the area will help reduce the tightness.

With bad muscle soreness, you likely want to rest those muscles. It may take up to a week or more for the muscles to fully heal. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stop working out completely. Do workouts that involve other areas of the body and avoid the muscles that are in pain. The exercise will still increase blood flow to the sore area and help the recovery process.

I’d love to hear your experience of this and if it worked for you. Also, I’d love to hear if you have other tips for reducing muscle soreness. Please share in the comments below.