Improve Mobility: Make Your Workouts More Functional

28 Nov

functional_training3[1]

Physioball Weight Roll

We focus on functional training for our athletes.  That means movement-based — and not muscle-based — exercises make up the majority of every athlete’s workout.  In addition to developing strength, speed, agility, and athleticism, we want our athletes to improve mobility, balance, coordination, and stability.  All these components contribute to a more powerful, capable athlete.

Ultimately, the athlete’s training should reflect the demands and movement patterns of his or her sport.

Better mobility helps athletes reduce the incidence of injury, and also gives players a considerable advantage on the court or field.  Hip and ankle mobility are important for explosive movements like sprinting; accelerating and decelerating; changing direction; and blocking and tackling.

  • Unilateral exercises (those which load one side of the body at a time), like single-arm presses and single-leg squats, are probably more reflective of sports performance than traditional bilateral exercises (loading both sides equally).  We like alternating between unilateral and bilateral exercises, for a specific movement or muscle group, every other week, to build a stronger, more balanced musculature.
  • Perform more exercises standing, including standing on one leg.  When you sit or lie down to do an exercise, you’re not supporting your own weight and, as a result, you’re compromising the development of core strength and stability.
  • Get away from training on machines that “lock” your body into exercises that don’t require balance or stability, and those that don’t work multiple joints and muscle groups from different angles.  Opt instead for free-weight exercises using dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or even sandbags.
  • Move through different planes of motion when you workout.  Lateral, transverse (diagonal), rotational, and anti-rotational exercises are great additions to any training regimen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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3 Responses to “Improve Mobility: Make Your Workouts More Functional”

  1. Corey Heckathorm November 28, 2014 at 6:19 AM #

    I could not agree more with this. As a person trainer, working with all sorts of ages, and conditions. Mobility is huge, having the flexibility to perform any given task is huge. I often start client just with position, stretches, stance, and simple yet effect strategys. If we could impact the public with just how effective stretching could be, it would make sports, everyday life, competition, aging, and youth development so much easier on our bodies. Put all the effort you can, in what you do.
    “Fall in love with the process of becoming great”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Get Functionally Fit in 2015 | Athletic Performance Training Center - December 29, 2014

    […] Functional training means challenging yourself with exercises that not only build strength, but also require balance and stability.  Avoid or minimize stationary, machine-based exercises that “lock” you into single-joint and/or isolated muscle group movements. […]

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