If Your Resolution is Better Mobility
Living Well...together, while apart
What a wonderful goal. Great mobility is incredible. It can be life altering. We were meant to be mobile, yet can lose it so easily as the years pass. Yet many of us don’t make maintaining or gaining mobility a priority. Why? Is it just not quite a sexy or exciting as being stronger or more powerful? Faster or leaner?
The funny thing is – having better mobility 100% supports all these other goals. People who are truly MOBILE not only can access great ranges of movement; they can control throughout those ranges. If you don’t think that means true, great strength, you’d be wrong. It means better running mechanics, improved ability to nail all kinds of complex lifts and movements, high energy, better metabolism, and better recovery. So tomorrow? You can nail it again.
Flexibility is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to lengthen passively through a range of motion. Mobility is the ability to activate those muscles through the entire range. Having flexible hamstrings doesn’t necessarily support better running mechanics. However, if you are able to actively control those hamstrings as they lengthen, you can likely move your pelvis into a more neutral position, optimize your knee drive, and land with a more centered foot strike. More efficient. More comfortable. More powerful. Less prone to injury.
There are lots of interesting way to increase the length of a muscle. But will it hold? Does all the rolling and stretching give you additional range that sticks? Not necessarily. Not if your body isn’t stable in that new range.
I have found the trick is to increase the length, or flexibility, just a little. You don’t want to increase the range to the point that the body freaks out. You gain a little extra range and then train the body – elicit additional neuro muscular activation – to stabilize – be strong and controlled – in that slightly larger range. Tension is often a protective adaptation. The body will limit movement when it senses you are not able to control that movement effectively.
So, create a little more mobility around a joint by lengthening a muscle or group of muscles a little bit. Then perform a movement that takes you through that new range and pause at the end of the range. Load it. Activate the muscle fibers that support that extra, “new” mobility.
Let’s try an example:
Sitting for long periods of time can create tight, shortened hip flexors and relatively weak glute and abdominal muscles. The patterns compliment and reinforce each other.
Strong glutes create great hip extension. This is when you drive your hips forward and move your pelvis from an anterior tilt to a neutral or posterior one. You will be better able to brake at neutral, that is control that movement to slow down and stop at neutral if you also have good abdominal control when the pelvis is in that neutral position. But tight hip flexors inhibit full or even decent hip extension. Tight hip flexors keep your pelvis in an anterior tilt, encouraging poor abdominal and glute activation.
- “Open up” the hips a little. You perform stretching or rolling protocols that create a little more length through the hip flexors. Ideally through the rectus femoris and the psoas. This should allow the pelvis to move a little more towards neutral. Now your pelvis is in a better place to fire the glutes and the abs.
- Get on your back and perform a hip bridge. Ideally, you will note you are able to get the hips a little higher and activate both the glutes and abdominals a little more.
- Hold that slightly higher position.
- Avoid pushing the hips up so high that you feel your low back firing.
You’re looking to create active control for that new, more open pelvic position, by teaching the abs and the glutes to fire and hold that new range. You are teaching the hip flexors that it’s okay to lengthen a little. They don’t need to stay totally jacked in order to protect our bodies. In order to keep our pelvis safe and stable. You are teaching your body – and your hip flexors – that they can now start to count on the glutes and abs to control that extra range. Now we can access that range for many activities. That slightly new range keeps getting positively reinforced. The glutes and abs keep getting stronger. And then you can move onto a new range. Continuing to work on increasing mobility and stability through the hips. Or moving on another joint and muscle group.
It’s a long example, I know. It’s not a simple process. But it’s remarkably effectively. You didn’t get stuck into maladaptive strength patterns overnight. So, it will take time to gain active mobility. And it’s worth it.
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” - Conrad Hilton
Today’s Live Workouts
Today is going to be a great day because we’ve got our THREE regular live workouts for you to join!
MOBILITY & STABILITY WITH ADRIANA
Join Adriana for your morning pick-me-up! This workout will focus on moving through a full range of motion and develop your full body control, flexibility, and usable range.
Recommended equipment: yoga block or pillow
Join Adriana at 7:30am (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 812 2541 6617
CYCLING WITH JAMES
Get an amazing cardiovascular workout on an indoor bike. The workout will simulate an outdoor ride, including a mix of intervals and hills.
Recommended equipment: bike trainer
Join James at 12:00pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 862 7308 7908
RIP IT UP WITH LAUREN (SUB)
This workout will challenge you to your max! Come out and perform the prescribed workout for the day. This workout utilizes all your skills, from coordination to endurance and strength. No equipment necessary, you’ll just need your body weight!
Join Lauren today at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 842 2984 9491
Click here to view this week’s schedule.
To learn more about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren directly.
Today’s Trainer Moves
Want an effective, fun way to improve Mobility? Let Lauren guide you through this amazing session.
For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Lauren here.
We are proud to partner with Made to Sweat Co., bringing Sweat Together Toronto directly to your living room!
Sweat Together Toronto will unite the fitness community through a curated digital fitness experience delivered by instructors from Toronto’s top local fitness clubs (including our team!), in support of Stella’s Place and Urban Squash Toronto.
Participants will enjoy a 90 minute Total Body Workout, with all proceeds from the event being donated to support youth education, activity, and mental wellness.
Register today to help us support these worthy causes!
DATE: Saturday, February 20th
TIME: 9:30am EST
Top Choice Award Winner
We are proud to announce that Stratus Restaurant has been crowned the winner of the Top Choice Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Toronto, for the second year in a row.
We sincerely thank all of you who chose to cast a ballot for us again this year! Your love and support mean the world to us.
It has been a difficult year for our restaurant and the industry as a whole. While we’re unable to serve you in-person right now, we hope you are enjoying our Spice of Life newsletter in the meantime. We will be back and better than ever and we look forward to serving you for many years to come.
We at Stratus Restaurant would like to thank you again for voting us your Top Choice of 2021!
Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.