T Nation

Mobility vs Stability


#1

Hello everyone.
I have been lifting for the past 9 years, and have also experimented with various forms of training from bodybuilding, to MMA training. Olympic lifting to Kettlebell Sport; the list goes on.
All those years have taken a toll on my body, although I am only 24 years old. I cant say its because of the training itself, but it most likely relates to how uninformed I was when it came to proper rest, quality warm ups, correct programming and mobility/stability practice.

From as long as I can remember injuries became a part of my training experience. That's not to say that I totally screwed up when it came to exercising correctly. You cant lift for 9+ years and come out scratch free. But you can definitely minimize the risk of injury, and that is what will keep you going long term.

How do you do that? Well I thought it mainly had to do with joint mobility and postural alignment. So I began doing intensive mobility drills before every training session, from Joe DeFranco's Limber Eleven, to Max Shank's Morning Flow.
I cant say that those mobility drills were totally ineffective. They helped me out tremendously when it came to improving my movement mechanics, but my injuries were still there nagging away day by day.

Another aspect of prehab that I was not aware of was midsection stability. You can be as mobile as a cat but if you do not know how to stabilize your midsection when doing compound movements like squats, deads, bench, bent rows and overhead presses your risk of injury is still high.

So I began to incorporate drills like the dead bug, wall slides, bird dogs, and dowel overhead squats before every training session and I found that tremendously helpful.

Our modern lifestyles can lead to our stabilizing muscles to be lazy and inactive because we are always sitting or lying down. So when you go and train all of a sudden with midsection muscles that are virtually "turned off" you will hurt yourself sooner or later.

So if you struggle with injuries (mainly spinal, like me. And no my back is not broken like Mike Tyson's) start by really focusing on quality warmup in the form of mobility and stability drills. It shouldn't take long to do this but you should feel primed and ready to train once you're done.

Let me know if this helps, and please share any questions or constructive criticism.


#2

I think lots of body weight exercises are great for this issue. Mark Lauren wrote a book, "Your Body, Your Gym" in which he offers over a 100 body weight exercises and I picked out the ones that I thought would be helpful for my weak spots or issues I didn't want to spend time on in the gym. Personally, I've never understood why people would do exercises in the weight room that they can do at home; it seems like a waste of time.


#3

Thanks for your comment. Coincidentally, I found that calisthenics or body weight training has helped relieve many of my injuries. Thanks for the book recommendation, I will look into it.
I also agree with your comment about efficient use of time. For many people who have stacked schedules, home training is the most convenient option. It is cost effective too. You only need a bar or rings to hang from, some resistance bands and a bit of space to have your training sessions in.