This may go without saying, but first and foremost, it begins in the mind. We have to want it and we have to prove it to ourselves that it’s what we actually want (with an investment).
After that (and where the exercise journey begins), is moving. More specifically, the ability (and capability) to move well.
Most of us, however, cannot move very well. And sadly, this has become a very large reason why we have come to hate exercise.
When we cannot move functionally and we dive into an exercise program, we feel it. Tight joints become painful joints become weak joints become “I just want to go home because I am not good at this and it hurts!”
There used to be a time, however, when exercise was easy and it didn’t feel like exercise.
Remember? It was when we were kids (when everything back then was easy).
As we became adults, however, our lives become more segmented and imbalanced. We now sit in chairs for 8+ hours a day and we now work jobs that have us repeating the same movement(s) over and over.
In short, we stopped doing certain movements and activating certain muscles (and certainly stopped playing). With this inactivity, our muscles become weak and our joints stiff and immobile.
If we want exercise to be fun again, for us to feel good, and for us to be the strongest versions of our ourselves, we have to address this tightness.
Now I am not talking about warming up on a treadmill. This won’t fix the problem. I am talking about selecting mobility exercises that will address the areas (ankles, hips, t-spine, shoulder) of our body that are messed up.
THIS IS WHERE IT BEGINS.
Before we go to zumba class. Before we weight lift. Before we go for a run.
Mobility, mobility, mobility…
This is the best, most approachable resource on the web for understanding and applying mobility exercises. I have a man crush on the guy who runs it (Kelly Starret) and you will probably have one soon as well. 300 + videos and still going strong.
Simply type in “Mobility exercise” + Whatever joint you need more flexibilty with and you will be well on your way.
These 2 will be all you need.
All that is left now is action…
– Try one new mobility exercise a day (5 minutes to watch/learn and 5 minutes to apply). Your body will thank you.
– Haven’t exercised in awhile or way out of shape? Your exercise is simply mobility.
– I admit it, mobility isn’t the funnest thing there is. Most times, I am anxious to get the workout started. To satisfy both my instant and delayed gratification, I work this “2 birds, 1 stone” approach:
- Do mobility work for the joints that I plan to work first in my workout (5 -10 min for upper body joints).
- Do singles in a lift (such as military press), ramping up weight with each set to warm up my nervous system.
- Between singles, I do mobility work on the other half that I didn’t work (in this case, ankles-hips- glute activation)
- By the time I have reached “heavy weight” status for my lift, my mobility is also done and I am ready to begin the session.