How To Improve Strength Training With Mobility Workouts

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Incorporate these effective workout routines and tips to enhance mobility for increased strength training results.

To improve over-all fitness, it’s important to have a well rounded approach to your workout routine. Regardless of your fitness goal, finding balance is the key to lasting, long-term results.

Ignoring any element of your fitness can leave a weak link to later be exposed with an injury or plateau. If you are looking to optimize your strength training routine, it’s imperative that you incorporate mobility.

Does mobility help with strength training?

In order for a muscle to get stronger, it must meet an increased demand of resistance placed on it. The muscle meets the demand by increasing motor unit recruitment and/or firing rate, i.e. calling on more muscles.

Actively working through a larger range-of-motion in a controlled manner (i.e. improving mobility) would increase motor unit recruitment, and therefore increase force production within a given exercise.

Mobility is defined by a joint’s ability to actively work through a range-of-motion (ROM). Through a joint’s ROM, the surrounding muscle groups must work together to contract and relax in a coordinated pattern.

While one group of muscles is contracting (or activating), the opposing group is relaxing (or stretching). To improve mobility, we must improve the activation, relaxation, and coordination of these simultaneous actions.

That is why simply stretching (flexibility training) is not enough to improve mobility. We must also focus on activating (contracting) these muscles at the end of their ROM. Where they are at their weakest.

This is done with slow, intentional exercises that are taken to their full depth to improve their ability to fire the small supporting muscles.

When we work in controlled and coordinated movements, our nervous systems becomes more efficient at calling on our motor units. When we are efficient at activating more motor units, the more force a muscle or muscle group can produce.

That’s why it is so important to do mobility training. The more controlled we get at these movements, the more force/strength we can apply to our exercises.

Should I focus on strength or mobility?

Your focus of training will be determined by your goal and fitness level.

If you are more experienced and looking to improve strength and muscular performance, you will want to focus on strength training with mobility being supplementary. Your mobility training will be supportive, but you will need to put more time into strength training to see consistent results.

An effective approach would be to include mobility into your strength training warm-ups to prep your body for the workout. And into your cool-downs afterwards to reduce muscle tension.

When you are looking to build muscle and strength, you need to work the entire body evenly. Minimizing the potential for muscular imbalance, which will hinder mobility and movement. Incorporate two or more strength sessions per week for each muscle group.

If you are at a beginner’s level, you need to establish a solid foundation of movement patterns and exercise technique.Your fitness routine must emphasize mobility training frequently as you gradually progress your strength training load.

An effective approach would be to incorporate full mobility sessions once or twice a week and in the warm-up and cool-down for each workout. Every muscle group in the body should get at least one strength training session a week with a focus on functional exercises.

As a beginner, you are more likely to have muscular imbalances that can be furthered with strength training if not intentionally working to correct them. Taking time to relax tight muscle groups and activate weak ones will help you move through a greater ROM. In turn increasing overall strength with neuromuscular development.

This form of training would often look like corrective and functional exercises or workouts. This form of training is perfect for the beginner. I’ll explain exactly why in my post The Successful Way To Exercise For Female Beginners At Home.

As I said before, a healthy fitness routine should maintain balance across all aspects of health fitness and shouldn’t neglect any form of training. Both mobility and strength training should be included into every fitness regimen.

Can you build strength and mobility at the same time?

Improved mobility is supportive to strength training. Building both strength and mobility at the same time is possible, and even beneficial.

It is a misconception that flexibility training hinders muscle growth, when in fact, that is the opposite. A muscle’s ability to contract is affected by the antagonist (opposing) muscle’s ability simultaneously yield.

Mobility training includes a dynamic form of flexibility (stretching) as well as mindful activation (contraction) of the muscles through their full range. The greater ROM a joint can work through in a controlled manner, the more muscles activated in that given exercise.

Therefore, if you can work through a greater depth, the more muscles you will be working. The more muscles used in a given exercise, the more force produced.

Improving mobility will aide in strength trainging gains and should be included in a strength focused fitness routine.

How do I add mobility to my workout?

Mobility can be incorporated into your workout in a variety of ways.

You can do mobility during the warm-up, in the cool-down, or even within the workout itself. Mobility training can even serve as it’s own workout for a lower intensity form of exercise that day.

You may even combine mobility with your strength training for a time-saving workout.

How do you combine strength training and mobility?

As busy moms we are usually looking to be efficient with our time. You may not have an entire hour to dedicate to a workout and separate mobility sesssion.

There are a number of ways to effectively combine mobility and strength training into one workout session. For example:

  • As a form of dynamic stretching in your warm-up and/or cool-down.
  • In the form of isometric contractions (“holds”).
  • As active recovery or rest intervals.
  • With corrective exercises using resistance bands.
  • By pulsing at the full depth of an exercise.

Dynamic stretching is great to prep and restore muscles for strength training. It is also great for keeping your body loose during rest intervals.

Isometric contractions and pulses help you to create a strong mind-muscle link while taking an exercise to failure in a controlled manner.

Corrective exercise with a resistance band is effect at improving stability and control. Resistance bands create an unstable force in both phases of contraction (concentric and eccentric or shortening and lengthening).

Incorporate any of these methods into your mobility for strength training routine to mix it up and get results.

How often should I train mobility?

If possible, you should train mobility everday to maximize results and reduce risk of injury and discomfort.

Regular exercise doesn’t improve mobility on its own. It can even reduce mobility if you are not thorough in your warm-ups. Or if you find yourself frequently doing the same exercises.

You can also reduce mobility if you spend extended periods sitting, standing, or in repetitive movement patterns. That could be due to work or the demands of motherhood.

Like a sedentary office job or a physically demanding position. You might be nursing a baby frequently or chasing after toddlers. Your day could consist of a lot of driving as you run errands, travel to work, and cart the kids around for extracurriculars.

Mobility training should be done as often as possible, even if in short increments. The easiest way to incorporate mobility for strength training is in your warm-ups and cool-downs.

That way you are tailoring your mobility around your workouts and balancing the frequency of each.

Mobility for Strength Training At Home

A great start to incorporating mobility for strength training is into your warm-up and/or cool-down. Try any of these four 10-minute sessions you can add into your pre or post workout routine.

Mobility Strength Workout |10 min

Improve muscle flexibility while stabilizing and strengthening joint range of motion. This workout focuses on stability and control challenging the limits of mobility as you work up a sweat.

Everyday Stretch Routine in 10 Min | Full Body Flexibility

Do this QUICK 10 minute stretch routine everyday to feel better. A boost in mood, comfort, and workout performance will have you feeling strong and excited to move.

Full Body Strong Mobility Workout | Dynamic Warm Up | 10 Minutes

Open your range of motion with controlled muscle lengthening and activation. By working through the full body with these exercises, you will feel refreshed, mobile and strong after only 10 minutes. This can be a stand alone workout for days you are taking it easy or the perfect warm up!

Full Body Mobility Flow Workout | Dynamic Stretch Activation | 10 Minutes

This 10 minute workout will help you to open your range-of-motion, reduce muscle soreness, and relax over-tight muscles. Flowing through a variety of dynamic stretches we will activate and lengthen the full body for increased mobility.

If you’d like to get in a resistance band mobility session, try any of these home mobility workouts:

Upper Body Mobility Strength Workout | Resistance Band | 10 Minutes

Boost your range of motion and joint strength with this quick 10 minute workout. Using a mini loop resistance band we will do a variety of controlled upper body exercises that target small and supportive muscles that enhance performance.

Functional Training Workout | Full Body | Mini Loop Resistance Band

Correct muscular imbalances and poor posture with just a mini loop resistance band in this 10 minute workout. Funtional training is a necessary part of everyone’s workout routine and can help you relieve nagging pain and discomfort with improved mobility.

Functional Strength Workout for Better POSTURE | Resistance Band

Improve posture and movement patterns with this functional strength workout. In 25 minutes we will cycle through a mini loop resistance band circuit designed with full body exercises that will activate weak muscle groups and challenge joint stabilizers while improving mobility.

Corrective Workout for the Lower Body | Mini Loop Resistance Band

Improve muscular imbalances of the hip girdle with this CORRECTIVE workout. Using just a mini loop resistance band, we will work in proper movement patterns to activate weakened muscles and release overactive ones that cause poor posture.

You can even sneak your mobility into a higher intensity workout for your cardio days.

Kickboxing and Yoga Interval Workout

In this workout we we will amp it up with kickboxing intervals then slow it down with yoga mobility for active recovery.

Cardio & Mobility Interval Workout | Aerobics & Flexibility | Full Body

Boost aerobic fitness while improving joint and muscular mobility with this 25 minute workout. Working with interval style training this workout will get your heart rate up then challenge you with active recovery for a high calorie burning workout that will improve your endurance and performance. No equipment needed to complete this bodyweight workout that uses full body exercises.

Find what mobility for strength training works best for you and make it a staple to your fitness routine.

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