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The Age of Mobility

While there was no pun intended in the title of this report, age and mobility often play a very congruent role in our lives. As we get older, we find and place greater value in mobility work (most often because we do not move that way that we previously did). But what exactly is mobility? Most simply, mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. And as it relates to our bodies, we would all love to move more freely and easily . . . and do so without pain. That’s the key, you see. Yes, we all wish to move like we were 20, but we also wish to move without pain like we were 20. “Those were the days” you’ll hear people reference. Or, “I remember when I was 20.” And perhaps the worst, “Just wait until you turn (insert the age in which your muscles, joints, and bones magically begin to break down and assume you will never be mobile or pain-free again).” Well, if you want to feel like you are 20 again, you need to be very deliberate with your TIME. What I mean by this, is that it will take you no less than 20 minutes per day to dramatically improve your mobility to the point you feel like you are 20 again (yes, we are using 20 as a common reference point here so that we can most easily remember). And, if you need help “finding” the time, I would be happy to assist you (this is actually a real passion of mine; and it will likely be easier than you think). However, for some of you, it will take greater time than that, depending how restricted your movement is or depending on how much pain you experience with these various movements. And finally, for others, there may even be a need for some medical intervention to allow for this process to occur freely and easily once again (although I would highly recommend seeing Dr. Greg before you go down that rabbit hole, as he can often determine and fix the issue without the need for further medical procedures). While there are hundreds of pieces of equipment that can assist with the health of your myofascial tissue (cold/heat, foam roller, lacrosse ball, percussive therapy, compression therapy, light therapy, electrical stimulation, etc.), there is nothing that quite beats taking our bodies through a full range of motion on the most basic primal movement patterns daily. Now let’s go ahead and backtrack, and revisit the specifics of what I just said. First, regarding a full range of motion, this is critical. Fourth, half, three-fourth repetitions just won’t cut it here. You must work your body through its current fullest, yes – both current AND fullest, range of motion in these movements (at times, with slight discomfort, but without pain). Next, regarding primal, in this context, this is simply referring to those patterns that are most functional to our living and will have the greatest overall carryover to the activities we frequently perform. And finally, I finished by saying daily. While I do not promote significant intensity and volume every single day in every single one these movement patterns, we should take our bodies through these motions daily (whether intentionally or unintentionally – i.e. work, play, etc.) so that we can continue to move freely and easily. Now the final question inevitably is what are these primal movement patterns? Well, they are the following: push, pull, twist (rotate), squat, hinge (bend), lunge, gait (walk/run). While I could dive deep into each of these movements, why they are considered the primal patterns, and how to perform each correctly, I believe this article does it best: This shows us how, from our earliest days on this earth, we begin to learn and implement these patterns into our lives. It’s actually incredibly fascinating how quickly we naturally pick up on these movements, without much overall guidance or assistance. Now whether you want to be able to squat like a toddler (yes, butt to the floor) or like you’re 20 (in the college recreation center putting too much weight on the bar trying to impress that guy or girl; not recommended by the way), it is a MUST that we implement these primal movements through a full range of motion on a daily basis to keep our bodies moving as freely and easily “as long as we both shall live.” Now that is mobility in a nutshell . . . make the time for it!


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