I’m not mobilizing, well, I have and do, but most of the time I’m training for mobility.
Mobilizing often takes an individual into the world of “feel good”. These techniques usually find themselves placed in physical preparation (warm ups), or creep their way in between your working strength sets. Something like strapping a band around a pole, wrapping it around your hip or shoulder, and moving about like you’re clearing gunk out of the gutter. You may go the foam rolling route, swearing by it, knowing that a few humps on the floor open your legs up quicker than Moses parting the red sea. I’ve used techniques like these in the past, and yeah, they feel good. They are inherently passive, as in, something else is doing the work.
Training for mobility involves progressively overloading parts of your body to elicit an adaptation. In our case, particularly getting the joints and the surrounding tissue to increase their load bearing capacity. The stimulus will help influence the muscle, ligament, tendon, and bone to remodel themselves over time, creating a whole new you. The key factor in this training is using an active range of motion. In other words, there must be a strength component. Ugh, here comes another plug for subtlety of controlled articular rotations and that slow control stuff. But one can even argue, although limited, gymnastic strength and weightlifting capture certain ranges of motion. Regardless of specificity they are inherently active, as in you’re doing the work.
There are a lot of “magical” drills that can change how you feel, and even move.. All of these immediate changes are temporary, all of them. You will wake up the next morning with the same range of motion you had before that sorcery.
Lasting change is created by consistently practicing and, more importantly, progressing your active range of motion. Consistency and progression can remodel your joints and tissues to redefine your idea of “normal”.
Don’t go ditching things that make you feel good, but don’t go convincing yourself that that one thing you have to do every single time before you squat, is progressing your hip into the next millennia.
Come train with me.
Emile Maxwell Connaughton