Somewhere along the line things got twisted. All of a sudden, the only thing that matters is strength. I’m seeing it all the time, guys are saying, “See how much I benched and squatted?” Sure, strength development is important, but how did it become the be all and end all? I’ve written before about how important it is to learn – and become efficient at – proper movement patterns. This is something that the new strength-centric athletes are missing. When’s the last time you assessed your strengths and weaknesses? Guess what, it’s not a muscle group that’s lagging, it’s your mobility! If you’re anything like most of the young athletes I see these days, your flexibility and mobility suck and they’re holding you back. You have nobody to blame but yourself, I mean, everyone started out with great mobility and flexibility… (picked this up from a seminar)
Look at it this way, mobility dictates positioning. This is what allows you to successfully complete movement patterns efficiently. A good example is a slingshot, since our muscles are like elastics. If you have a slingshot and you can barely pull back the band, does it make sense to make the band even stronger? The problem is, it actually gives it a slight improvement which is all the more misleading. A stronger band would probably improve performance slightly, but think about how much better it would be if you decided to focus on how you could pull the band back further? Attaining full range of motion will allow the elastic to build up more energy and allow the shot to be more accurate. This is how you need to treat your body. Stop focusing on getting stronger when you’ve got poor range of motion and terrible movement patterns.Enough is enough. Learn how to use your body more efficiently first, THEN you can increase your strength again.
If you’ve been sacrificing mobility and range of motion in the weight room (controlled environment), then how will you be able to magically pull it off in a high speed uncontrolled environment (sport)? Wake up and smell the coffee. Take the next little while to focus on mobility and you’ll see yourself become more efficient, more effective and more injury resistant.
Added mobility has so many positive effects. Hypertrophy is increased when training through a full-range of motion. Faulty movement patterns can lead to compensations, overuse of certain muscles and structures, then either knotted up muscles or possible tendinopathies. Increased mobility in key areas also allows you to be way more dynamic in all your movement. Do yourself a favor and do your next training session by a mirror. Here you will find out how you look going to full-depth in a squats, the start position of a deadlift, or the top of a pullup!
It’s about getting better!