Mobility – The Key to Unlocking Strength


Mobility – The Key to Unlocking Strength


Mobility: “The quality or state of being mobile.”  “The ability to move freely and easily.”

Mobility has an important role in our everyday lives. But how can improved mobility enhance your strength training and overall fitness level?

I have heard people say “all that working out will hurt you” or “one day your body is going to give out if you keep lifting like that”. Ever heard that? I call BS. “Exercise is not the enemy… rest and lack of mobility is.” In a world full of Crossfitters, weighlifters, body builders, endurance athletes, and the couch potato trying to get off the couch, we see a LOT of examples of exercise related injuries and worn down bodies. But is it really the exercise itself, or is it a lack of knowledge on proper programing, recovery and the need for mobility?

How Do Our Bodies React to Stress and Overtraining ??

 Homeostasis vs Allostasis – Homeostasis refers to the ability of the body to maintain stability in spite of changes or stress. Whether you are sleeping or awake, your body is always maintaining balance (homeostasis).  When we exercise our bodies work overtime to create enough energy to continue exercising and help us recover.  Our bodies begin to show effects of trying to maintain this balance: increased heart rate, sweating, and increased breathing. [1]

Allostasis is a chronic state of disordered homeostasis that allows survival of the body but at the expense of its well-being and life expectancy. It’s the “wear and tear on the body” which grows over time when the individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress. [2]

When the body is under stress, and yes exercise is a stressor, the body will produce cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) which have both protective and damaging effects on the body.  For the short term, they are essential for maintenance of homeostasis, and survival “allostasis”. Yet, over long periods of time, when called upon frequently, the resulting “allostatic load” exacts a cost that can accelerate the body’s disease processes.

In other words, too much stress on the body with no or little recovery means you could possibly begin the process of slowly breaking down your body. The results of this can range from tight or stiff muscles/tendons (limited flexibility or mobility), to pulled or strained muscles/tendons (injuries), to high blood pressure, to increased illnesses and weakened immune systems.

How can we prevent overloading and over-stressing ourselves as it relates to our fitness training?”   Continued…