I bet you are on Instagram. If you are - and follow at least one athletic dude there is the high chance that you always see these impressive mobile folks, too. Or am I the only one?\n\n\n\nMobility is a real hype. There are many workouts, concepts and revolutionary ideas passed around it.\n\n\n\nI think every active person wants to get more mobile. That's a great goal for many, considering the monotonous modern lifestyle. Maybe it is not their highest goal, but chances are good that even the biggest fella in your gym wants to be more mobile in some areas.\n\n\n\nFortunatly mobility can help you get the results you wanted. And even more - it cants just make you more flexible. It can help you to use that flexibility, too. \n\n\n\nBut you have to be willing to put the effort into it. Let's dive into how that should work.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nMobility vs. Flexibility\n\n\n\nMobility and flexibility are the two main actors when it comes to getting more mobile.\n\n\n\nMobility is your active range of motion while flexibility is your passive one. So - what does this medicinal babble now mean?\n\n\n\nYour active ROM is the one you can actively control - kinda obvious. You are strong within that range. Your brain trusts you!\n\n\n\nYour brain thinks the more ROM it grants you the more potential there is for injuries. That's why getting mobile is teaching your brain to trust you and get strong after that trust is established. You don't want to be your brain's abusive boyfriend.\n\n\n\nPassive ROM is the range you can passively be put in. That can be through weight, pulling or someone sitting on your back while stretching. Depending on how deep you go you will feel a strong stretch sensation. That said - passive ROM is the precursor of active ROM.\n\n\n\nYour job is to acquire passive ROM and make it active.\n\n\n\nBetween active and passive ROM there is always a discrepancy. That's normal. But if this gap gats to big - the probability for injuries rises.\n\n\n\nThat is a common problem for some hyperflexible yogis. They got tons of range but aren't strong in it. And as you can think - that is not good...But as you can see - mobility and flexibility go along together. They don't stand against each other. There is no sense in praising mobility and banning flexibility into damnation. Expect if you are a marketer and try to sell something. Than creating emotions and a strong common enemy might be good for your sales. But - it changes not that it is bullshit in the first place. Dear marketers. Lookin' at you!\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhat does mobility training look like?\n\n\n\nMobilityconcepts:\n\n\n\nIt exist 100+ concepts that promise you to get more mobile.\n\n\n\nCR, AC, CRAC, CARs, MWoD, PALs &RALs, FRC, PAILs & RAILs, and what they're all called... physiotherapists seem to be in that matter mich like their medical colleagues: They love abbreviations.\n\n\n\nTo get to know every concept and find the ones fitting is real work. This quest takes time and joy experimenting around.\n\n\n\nShortly put, mobility is exactly like traditional strength training: There are a lot of different approaches to play with, but to be successful with it you have to put in the effort.\n\n\n\nThe goal of every concept is to teach your brain to control before unknown ranges. First off you want to get deeper into a stretch and show your brain that this particular range is no threat. You have to win your brains trust.Second, you strengthen that newly acquired range. That way your brain remembers it.That said, mobility's job is both of the two above. It is strength training for your end range.\n\n\n\nGoal setting\n\n\n\nTraining mobility without a plan is not very effective. It's like throwing a few weights around and hoping for the results.\n\n\n\n You want to get more mobile, that's great! The worst thing you could do now is to unknowingly stretch everything out a bit.\n\n\n\nYour first goal should be to reclaim humans minimal movement standards.\n\n\n\nThere is no use of getting into the splits if you can't get your arms overhead without struggles.\n\n\n\nThere is a baseline of how much movement each joint should express in physiotherapy. This list is called the zero-neutral-method.\n\n\n\nPlus these basic requirements you should be able to perform the basic movements like getting your arm overhead, squat, run with acceptable technique, walk well, sit on the floor comfortably. Unfortunalty many struggle already with these few tasks.\n\n\n\nEverything going above that should be thought of wisely. Because it will take a lot of time and effort. If you wanna do the splits, a flat-out pancake or ring inlocates ask yourself beforehand:\n\n\n\nWhy do I wanna get more mobile?Do I need this additional mobility? Maybe for my activities? A runner doesn't need a decent pancake. It can even make him prone to injuries.For Calisthenics-lovers, Gymnasts or even handbalancers these moves are the basics and a foundation for many advanced movements.Do I wanna get more mobile for the sake of being mobile?Every skill takes a lot of effort, frustration, and dedication. And to train 2 years just to pull off a party trick and get some attention won't get you far.\n\n\n\nThe most important thing to consider when you want to get more mobile is, that you only keep your acquired mobility if you use it often.\n\n\n\nUse it or loose it.\n\n\n\nIf you don't need your range you won't keep it. Therefore spent your time more wisely.\n\n\n\nTraining structure\n\n\n\nMobility training is as previously said hard work and nothing you should do awhile in front of your beloved Netflix series.\n\n\n\nEither you won't get much out of your series or your workout.\n\n\n\nI like to do some specific mobility work after every workout. Then I am warm, well-moved and have some capacity left.\n\n\n\nFor me this volume is fine. But that depends solely on you. If you want to put in the work you can dedicate whole sessions to your mobility or train it more frequently.\n\n\n\nPrograming mobility is like programing biceps curls. Maybe a bit more complicated. But if you choose the right exercises and improve your (insert your effort measurement here) you will get better.\n\n\n\nSome light mobility will even make for a great warmup, too. You can do some CARs right before every workout or in the morning when getting out of bed.\n\n\n\nAs you see - there are many ways to get more mobility into your day. What counts is consistency.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAdditional tips to mobility training\n\n\n\nWhere do I start?\n\n\n\nStart slow, especially with mobility. For most pushing their boundaries and stretching simultaneously is an unknown stimulus. Besides that, getting more mobile needs time.\n\n\n\nBut what is 'time'? I will let you know - Years.\n\n\n\nDepending on your goal and your starting point years are nothing abnormal. I needed nearly 2 years to fix my squat and get from WoW-Warrior-Level into a bodyweight squat effortlessly.\n\n\n\nThe last thing I want to do is rob your motivation. But - I don't want you to be frustrated because some keyboard-warrior said it takes 5 and a half months.\n\n\n\nReclaiming basic mobility for any human\n\n\n\nYour most important mobility gaol should be to reclaim the basic movement capacity every human should be capable of.\n\n\n\nI would start with the three big ones - your spine, your hips and your shoulders.\n\n\n\nIf you manage to work on these regularly and see improvements start fixing restrictions of the smaller joints. Now you can also learn and improve some basic moves - like the squat, hanging down from something, walking & running, ...\n\n\n\nYou can read about the as 'normal' defined numbers of degrees your joints should be capable of here.\n\n\n\nA short, daily mobility routine\n\n\n\nYes - finally a place where a cat picture fits in!\n\n\n\nFor example, start every day with some CARs. Or move lightly. Do some yoga. That should be intense or long. It is about getting into your body and feel great. Think of it like toothbrushing for your body.\n\n\n\nSquat, Hang down from something and move daily. Try to be creative when it comes to moving and most important - have fun.That is by any means the most effective treatment to get and stay mobile.\n\n\n\nBe playful when it comes to movement and get creative. Getting active doesn't mean that you always lock yourself in a room with your fellow lads and do 5 times 3 sets of 10. Play is as important as structured training is.Another way to be more active is to stretch shortly before going to bed. Longer hold stretches or some soft yoga can definitely help to wind down.\n\n\n\nSpecific mobility training\n\n\n\nWhen movement is a daily habit of yours, one way or the other, you can start to work on some specific weaknesses.\n\n\n\nTherefore it is important to know where exactly are your weaknesses. If assesing yourself isn't something for yourself contact your trusted physio or mobility coach.\n\n\n\nMy recommendation is to work on your mobility after every session for 15-20 minutes. Done 4 times a week that's 1,5h of Mobility work.\n\n\n\nRight after your workout you are warm, your nerve system is very active and you should have some power left if you didn't trash yourself in the workout beforehand.\n\n\n\nNow it is time to work specificly on your squat for example. Or your internal hip rotation. Or your pike position. It doesn't matter. What matters is knowing exactly where to attack the chain's weakest link.\n\n\n\nUse your set breaks while in the gym\n\n\n\nAnother great recommendation for you is to use your time in between sets. \n\n\n\nWhy not stretch your hamstring a bit while working on l-sits? Or hang from a bar in between squats?\n\n\n\nThere are 1000 things to do that keep you warm, get you active and won't affect your workout. Win-Win, I would say!What important stuff does anyone do in between sets anyway? :-D\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSources and recommended further reading:\n\n\n\nGreat YouTubers around the broad topic of mobility are Moving Monkey and Tom Merrick.If you are on Instagram check Beardthebestyoucanbe out! This guy is just insanely flexible and shares knowledge bombs.Great concepts to start with and learn much about mobility are MWod by Dr. Kelly Starret and FRC by Dr. Andreo Spina.Another worthy place to check out is Ido Portal's old Blog. His Floreio Projekt is a great place to start and work out alternatively. And - everything over there is for free. Give it a try!