We’re a few weeks into the Challenge and we hope you’ve found motivation to step up your workout game, start planning your meals, and set some new fitness goals. But in all this planning, how often do you think about your joint mobility?
Repeating the same movement patterns in your daily habits and long periods of inactivity (think sitting, standing, and sleeping) can lead to poor posture and restricted movement. When our movement is restricted, it can cause some of our muscles to become short and tight and others to lengthen and become tense. This results in altered movement around the affected joints and also affects how your muscles contract and stabilize your joints when you move, leading to joint pain and even soft tissue injury in the body.
Overall joint mobility can help improve your range of motion and technique, and reduce your risk of injury. Everyone will experience different ranges of mobility depending on your muscle tightness, joint structure, genetics, age, body composition, and any previous injuries.
Including regular dynamic movement into a training program is a great way to enhance your flexibility and increase your range of motion, with the added benefit of improving muscle activation by teaching your brain to recruit more muscles when you perform an exercise, which in turn gives you better stability in your movements.
At F45, we use dynamic movements in warm-ups to help avoid soft tissue injury, increase joint flexibility, and optimize performance by helping prepare and condition the body and mind for exercise. We also have an entire Recovery session based on dynamic stretches called Mondrian 30 (available in studios and on the Challenge App) to help wind down from a stressful day, or go through after a workout to help reduce the risk of muscle strains. And for those who often find themselves stuck at a desk or in the car most of the day, you may be surprised by the reduction of stiffness and discomfort in the body and more freedom of movement you feel after running through a Recovery session.
Taking 30 minutes to stretch may seem like a luxury and is often one of those things that we always say we will do on the weekends, but our members have found that having an allocated time to unwind, relax, and go through some gentle movements can really balance out their workouts and the stresses of the day. The mental clarity and calmness experienced after these sessions is often the antidote to the everyday chaos that we didn’t know we needed so badly!
Overall, having adequate range of motion and mobility is essential for moving well and performing exercises with correct technique, as well as staying injury free. Taking 15-30 minutes to stretch out from a day hunched over your work computer on the dining table is a great way to unwind and relax. Check out one of our Calypso Kings or Mondrian 30 Recovery sessions on the F45 Challenge App.