What is Mobility anyways?

Simply put, mobility is the capability of a joint to move through the appropriate range of motion. When we combine the mobility of multiple joints and our muscles’ capacity to produce force, we get the ability to move our bodies through our environment. Having proper mobility in specific joints is what allows us to have proper movement when we perform exercises in the gym as well as when we carry out activities in our daily lives. Whether your goal is to squat 400 pounds or play fetch with your dog without pain, mobility comes into play.

In a heavy squat, proper mobility can help us obtain proper position, which then leads to higher power output, which then produces a desired performance outcome. If you’re throwing a tennis ball for your dog and your mobility allows for proper throwing mechanics than you can walk away pain free and with a happy dog. Those examples represent very different goals, but both highlight the point that mobility is an important starting point in anything we do physically.

If mobility is so crucial to our health and general human function then why is it something that seems so elusive to so many of us? Walk into the gym and you’ll likely see someone rolling around on a lacrosse ball with a painful look on their face. Why? Generally speaking that person is probably “working on their mobility”. Mobility restrictions can be caused by many different things but most can be credited to one or multiple of the following:

  1. Muscle tightness and/or imbalances
    2. Soft tissue adhesions
    3. Structural abnormalities

So all things considered, mobility issues generally stem from some form of muscle, connective tissue, or bone that is pulling on or holding down a joint in a way that limits optimal range of motion.

If you’re struggling with your mobility or aren’t quite sure where you’re at don’t hesitate to ask one of the coaches here at LIV. They can give you tips on stretches, rolling techniques, corrective exercises, or even put you through a baseline movement screening.