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:
Lack of local flexibility
General form issues (side to side movement)
Hip flexibility (ability to drive your knee upwards)
Flexibity, “your legs follow your arms”
Torsion of your torso (think twisting side to side)
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.