Should you REALLY do mobility work?

Should you REALLY do mobility work? 

Or is it really necessary?

That was the gist of a question I read the other day on a forum.

The OP stated that there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do training wise. He had full range of motion and never experienced any pain and just did it because he was under the impression that he “should.”

Furthermore, he stated:

“I’ve unquestionably been doing mobility stuff (about ten minutes or so) but I’m starting to think at best it makes no difference to anything, and at worst it might actually be causing a few niggles here and there.”

I haven’t had the time to post my 2 cents yet, but thought it might be helpful to start here, in case you’re struggling with the same thoughts.

For the record:

I got “certified” almost 2 decades ago in a “PERFORMANCE MOBILITY” system that really helped me out… At first.

I dove in head first and drank the Kool Aid.

It was like I was in some kind of Multi-Level Marketing scam – I told EVERYONE about it.

My wife, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, was also in it and using it with her patients.

And it worked great – at first.

It was the ONLY thing I’d tried (and later routinely used) that got rid of my chronic excruciating knee pain for any length of time.

But eventually, I had to do more and more and more and more and more…

And spend more and more and more and more money to learn the “next level” stuff.

Eventually, my entire body felt “DISCONNECTED” like I could no longer control it, no matter how many drills or variations I did, or which Master Trainer I saw, or whether I worked with the Founder (a DC) or not.

And that’s when I spit the Kool Aid out.

It’s somewhat embarrassing to look back on, but I’m glad it happened. 

First, because it was the “genesis” or at least a “genesis moment” for Original Strength, which I co-founded back in 2010.

Second, it showed me what NOT to do later when I designed my own system.

And third, it gave me a healthy respect for the power and prominence of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) in how the body functions, and, as a result, how to even write this email to you.

MOBILITY THEORY.

The mobility theory basically goes like this:

If you have a stiff “part” or restricted range of motion, you should move it.

And moving it through its full range of motion, will help you move it through its full range of motion in the future.

All kinds of mobility drills have resulted from that:

A/P glides…

Circles…

Figure 8’s…

Clovers…

You get the picture.

But back to the original question at hand:

If you’re like the forum OP and you can do all that you want to do? And have full range of motion in all your “parts?”

Then there’s probably zero reason to waste your time doing mobility work.

Examples of exercises you can already do (pain free of course) to tell if whether or not you  need mobility work:

[+]  Pull Ups/Chins to the throat or chest

[+]  Handstands against the wall, body perfectly flat/flush against it

[+]  Parallel or Ring Dips

[+]  Extended range of motion push ups (hands on boxes for example)

[+]  Full butt-to-ankles bodyweight Squats

[+]  Pistols (Single leg butt-ankle Squats)

[+]  Pike stretch

[+]  “Criss-Cross Applesauce” ((American) Indian style) Sitting

To name but some.

But if you can’t?

Or if you have stiffness, soreness, tightness, or pain with any of those movements? Or others not mentioned?

Then you most likely need to do some kind of RESTORATION work, but not necessarily MOBILITY work.

Let me explain:

There’s a principle or saying in the physical therapy world that says,

“Proximal stability creates distal mobility.”

In other words, when the center of you is stable – able to resist movement – it creates mobility – movement – in your appendages – your limbs.

For example:

You could have stiff ankles.

But unless you checked your core stability and knew for certain that it was intact, all the A/P glides and joint circling for your ankles will have minimal effect.

See, your body is very smart.

If it can’t stabilize your pelvis and lumbar spine, it restricts movement of your limbs because it feels like it can’t control those ranges of motion.

So, when you start wiggling them, you’re overriding your body’s natural protective mechanisms.

This can (and most likely will) lead to further injuries in the future.

The key therefore, is to RECAPTURE THAT PROXIMAL STABILITY.

We do that by RESTORING MOTOR CONTROL.

I recommend using my P3 Protocol found here to do that.

How well does it work?

Here’s what “Training_for_Life” said over on the StrongFirst forum:

(Here’s the original post and thread if you want to check it out.)

https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/geoff-neupert-p3-protocol.22735/page-13#post-491427 

So, if you’ve tried other mobility plans or restoration programs and they’ve failed you, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well P3 works for you.

Get started here.

👉 P3 – https://go.chasingstrength.com/sore-joint-solution-e/

Stay Strong,

Geoff

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