In a perfect world, every person who came to me looking for mobility or strength training would have no injuries, no nagging aches and pains, and nothing but beautiful joints and movement patterns. However, with the abuse we put on our bodies everyday, that has never happened and most likely never will.
People come to see me because they can’t seem to find any answers on how to deal with their particular orthopedic issue. I like to categorize this as “reactive” mode. They’re usually fed up and frustrated with having dealt with this particular issue long enough and now they’re ready to tackle the situation head-on. Fortunately, that’s one of the things mobility training is perfect for and because of this, I wanted to share with you how you can use mobility training to identify, recover from and mitigate injury so you can get back to being the awesome mover you were meant to be!
It’s more simple than you think.
The first step in dealing with pain and injury is finding the root of the problem. You can’t fix something if you don’t know where it started, right? Mobility training helps us pinpoint where aches, pains and injuries are coming from by showing us which joints are causing the problem. Remember: everything is connected so just because you feel pain in one spot doesn’t mean that that’s the area of concern. Mobility training can be used as an assessment tool to quickly tell us which joints have limitation in movement and are dysfunctional.
For example, if someone’s knee is bothering them, we use some mobility exercises to quickly assess each of the surrounding joints and see which one isn’t doing it’s job. The questions are pretty simple:
Does the tibia rotate?
Does the ankle invert and evert?
Lastly, does the hip rotate both internally and externally?
By answering all of these questions, we can figure out very quickly where the problem is coming from. You can apply this same system to all of your aches and pains by using concepts found in mobility training. Once you know where the problem is coming from, now you can go fix it.
Once we find the joint that’s causing the problem, we can begin to recover by using mobility exercises that focus on the dysfunctional joint. So if we take the example from above and found that the hip can’t internally and externally rotate, well then, we know we need to get it back to doing so. We do this by teaching the hip to be a hip again with exercises focused on internal and external rotation. Simple, right? Once a better connection to the hip is created, our next course of action would be to start expanding the ranges of motion in this hip. Expanding ranges is another aspect of mobility training where the more ranges the hip can achieve, the less that knee is going to be asked to do.
Now that we’ve got the root of the problem solved and the body is moving the way it was meant to, it will naturally, on its own, start moving the way it was intended to. But we can’t stop there. You must continue working those areas and start exploring other joints of the body to see if there are some other issues lurking in the background. Start working on those issues and now your body will be able to mitigate future issues down the road. Mobility training is not a once in a while thing, it's a powerful daily habit for the rest of your life.
So although it would be better if we’re all proactive vs reactive with our bodies, life happens and injuries occur. Recovering doesn’t have to be as complicated as it’s made out to be though. Just follow these steps incorporating mobility training and you’ll be on your way to becoming a pain-free super human!
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified