Mobility and Stability - why they are important?
I want to spend a little bit of time talking about 2 essential areas of physical wellness – MOBILITY and STABILITY.
Keeping your joints mobile and stable has all sorts of benefits, not just for your athletic performance, but also for your general health.
In order to move with optimal efficiency, our body requires to find a balance between mobility and stability.
So, let’s break it down, starting with mobility. Mobility is the range of motion a particular joint should be able to move through. Stability is defined as the ability to maintain control of joint movement or position by coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.
It’s important to think of all the bones, muscle, and connective tissue around each joint as an integrated system that relies on the health of other joints.
In other words, if a single joint does not work properly, the joints above and below it can be affected.
Movement relationships from joint to joint play an integral role in overall activity. If the ankle does not bend and flex, it can inhibit the natural gate, the ability to squat fully or properly, and the ability of the knee to stabilize. Poor hip mobility can cause low back pain or knee dysfunction.
The importance of mobility and stability cannot be understated. Good mobility can make a big difference to all areas of your life, whether you are a high-performance athlete or an office worker. For athletes and sports professionals at the top of their game, taking the time to work on their mobility has obvious benefits. But the importance of mobility for less active individuals is also important and beneficial.
For example, I think there is a lot we can learn from professional dancers and football players. They spend a lot of time working on their flexibility and joint range of motion. They truly have a great balance of mobility and stability.
If you are an office worker sit at a desk all day and do little exercise it’s more than probable your back and hips will be a bit stiff with reduced functional capacity and a weakened core muscle system.
Your goal in this scenario may be to simply improve the range of motion in the stiff areas and increase your core muscle awareness to reduce associated pain or injury risk and improve your capacity for basic everyday tasks.
Working on a healthy balance between mobility and stability is the key to preventing injury.
Allowing the body to move into greater ranges of motion will enable you to begin to make strength gains in these newly gained ranges.
When you have controlled joint mobility, your connecting muscles are able to completely contract and expand during each movement and exercise. This means that you can gain the most from each exercise and work efficiently.
Would you rather have difficulty getting in and out of a chair, or have the mobility to easily get up and down off the floor whenever you want?
Remember, it's never too late to work on your mobility and stability and if you’re having joint pain or have a joint injury, it’s important to seek professional help in rehabilitation.