Take a moment and imagine what you want your life to look like when you hit 60, 70, 80 years old.
Close your eyes and envision what you want your life to look like.
- Do you see yourself surrounded by family, taking the grandkids out on walks, hikes, fishing trips, and more?
- Do you see yourself involved with life, visiting friends, puttering around the shop or garden or wherever you please?
- Do you still want to throw the football around, hit the gym, go swimming and hiking with your friends?
- Do you see yourself alone, stuck in the house, because moving is just so hard?
- Do you see yourself shuffle-stepping, pushing a walker, or even wheelchair-bound because you fell and broke your hip and never recovered quite right?
- Do you see yourself depressed because you can’t do all the things you still dream of doing but can’t because your movement is limited?
If I had to take a guess, I’d say it was the first set of options, right?
And do you know the 🗝️ to making that first set of options happen?
I am so glad you asked!!
Mobility is the Key.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you may be thinking. I foam roll. I stretch. Isn’t that enough?!
Unfortunately, no. No it’s not. Foam rolling might be hitting the symptom, but it isn’t solving the problem. And while static stretching is GREAT, you’re not actually developing any strength and control around the joints, which will be necessary once you start moving through real-life motions.
So what are you supposed to do?!
That’s exactly what this post is going to cover.
We are going to cover:
- What exactly IS mobility
- Stretching vs. Foam Rolling vs. End-Range Mobility (aka the Primal Method)
- Why mobility that focuses on building strength in end ranges is the way to go
So let’s dive into Mobility 101.
What Exactly IS Mobility?
According to Harvard Health “mobility is defined as your ability to move purposefully as you go through your day. It is the foundation for living a healthy and independent life. Mobility comprises all the skills required for everyday living: physical stamina, strength, balance, coordination, and range of motion….in short mobility helps you “stay in the game.”
You could also define mobility as our body’s ability to move through ranges of motion with stability and control at our joint level.
Have you ever noticed elderly people who aren’t able to walk well, athletes whose overhead lifts stay in front of the body, squats that don’t drop, and those rounded forward shoulders everyone seems to be developing from hunching over desks and phone screens all the time?
Fun fact time: our bodies will easily adapt to the positions we spend the most time in.
When we stay in the same position for hours a day, our body begins to stay that way.
It keeps some muscles tight, other ones inactive and believe it or not OUR BODIES ARE MADE TO MOVE!!!! When we don’t move, we tend to develop a whole host of aches and pains that never really go away.
This is a HUGE reason why it is crucial to actively work to expand, strengthen, and maintain the range we have. The younger we start this, the healthier our joints will stay, helping us move better and live the life of our dreams as we age (no creaky, crunchy joints or walkers for us!)
Stretching vs. Foam Rolling vs. End-Range Mobility
When we think about stretching, something like this usually comes to mind.
Stretching our leg or arm in a static (not moving) position for 5-120 seconds.
This DOES expand our range of motion.
When we hold a stretch, our muscle fibers are lengthening to their fullest capabilities. As we continue to hold, our connective tissues (ligaments, capsules, fascia, etc.) begin to stretch as well. When we pair this with breathing deeply, we send a signal to our muscles and body that it is OKAY to be in this position.
However, you’re not building any stability, control, or strength in that range.
Foam rolling is commonly considered recovery and is done in place of mobility.
While foam rolling may feel amazing, it isn’t actually solving the problem. While you are increasing your range of motion, you aren’t expanding it because you aren’t USING it. Your perception of pain also decreases which while in the moment is perfect, if you’re looking for long-term relief, might not be the best solution.
End-Range Mobility (aka the Primal Method)
End-Range mobility involves building awareness of where your current range of motion ends and works to build trust within your nervous system, showing it that you have stability, control, and strength in those ranges, allowing you to experience less pain ( or no pain even!) before expanding that range.
The focus on connection and awareness, MOVING slow and controlled, helps alleviate the root cause of the issues present, such as a previous injury, restrictions, and/or imbalances.
THIS is what makes the Primal Method different.
Why is END-Range Mobility the Key 🗝️?
Our ability to move dictates how we live our lives, and how free we are to move about the world as we please. As defined above, by Harvard Health, mobility impacts our independence, our ability to make a difference, have an impact on the world, and be involved with our loved ones.
According to an article in the American Journal of Public Health, title ‘Mobility and Aging: New Directions for Public Health Action’ states that 31.7% of adults over 65 report difficulty in walking 3 city blocks. Limited mobility is independently associated with health problems and injury as well. Mobility is also one of the necessary requirements to drive a car and 20% of adults over 65 do not drive, which tends to lead to depression.
Every day, we squat to get up and out of chairs, cars, and off of toilets. Every day, we have to pick dirty clothes up off the floor, put boxes away in the garage, and carry the groceries from the car to the kitchen while trying to unlock the door at the same time.
All of these things take mobility. Specifically, end-range mobility that helps us build, stabilize and strengthen our ranges of motion.
When we’re young, we take our ability to move for granted. We jump out of our seats, race down the stairs, and jump over the back of the couch to claim the TV before our sibling does. As age creeps up though, we find ourselves groaning and oofing when we go to stand up, we find getting in and out of the car a little bit harder, and our joints start to get just a little more achy.
So many of us chalk this up to getting old.
I refuse to agree.
I know that to some degree, yes, slowing down is inevitable.
I also know, that if I start taking care of my mobility NOW, I will drastically improve my ability to move later in life. Moving in life is imperative to accomplish all of the things I want to do.
- Teach my great-grandkids how to lift.
- Live happily and healthily to 120.
- Take my grandkids camping for a week during the summer so my kids can have a week to reconnect with their partner.
- Go to the awards ceremonies, sporting events, dance recitals, and lessons.
- Take long walks.
- Hike trails down to the ocean.
I want to live my best life every single year and that all comes down to my ability to move.
Whew!!! *wiping the sweat off the brow*
We have done it!!!
We have covered:
- EXACTLY what mobility is
- The difference between stretching, foam rolling, and end-range mobility
- WHY mobility is so dang important.
Feeling inspired to try some end-range mobility?! Check out this follow-along video I made hitting the 3 major areas of our body.
Want to learn how you can get personalized mobility plans built just for you?! Click this link to learn more.
If you need anything, I’m a message away!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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