As we age, mobility becomes an even more important. Before we go through my best tips, I think it is worth going back and defining what mobility is all about.
Mobility is the ability to move naturally through a full range of motion. This can be impaired by either a tightness of a muscle or damage to a joint.
To have an effective mobility training program, it should be something you do every day. This not only includes doing mobility training, but also undoing the things we do to reduce mobility, such as sitting all day.
Before you do any stretching or self-myofascial release, it is important to warm up the muscles. This can be done simply by moving the muscle to get good blood flow.
Do SMR right
Most people do self-myofascial release wrong. When you roll the muscle, you are stimulating it. What you should do is to roll lightly on the muscle until you find a sore spot. Then you should apply pressure until the muscle releases. This is more about spot pressure than rolling.
Purpose of static stretch
A static stretch is for the muscles you aren't planning to train. When you do static stretches, the muscle loses strength.
Purpose of dynamic stretch
On the contrary, dynamic stretches do not reduce strength. You should use dynamic stretching to warm up and loosen up the muscles you plan on training.
It is very important that you're properly hydrated. Muscles and joints need fluid to function properly.
Staying in one position for long periods of time causes muscles to tighten up and joints to lose function. This damages your mobility.
Time of stretch/age
When we are older, we need to hold stretches and self-myofascial release for longer. I recommend you hold the positions for a minute or more.
Don't forget to breathe when you're stretching or doing self-myofascial release. This helps with release/stretch.
Finding a partner to stretch with can make the stretching more enjoyable and can help you get a better stretch. Just be aware of your form to avoid injury as more pressure is applied than you'd be able to apply yourself.
Stretching is a great time to practice mindfulness. Don't zone out. Stay in the moment to help build the mind-muscle connection.
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