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Maintaining Mobility

Swimming at Darwin Waterfront – Rena Walker in the lagoon

Staying active is one of the most important tools for leading a long, healthy life, however, when pain strikes, it becomes challenging to maintain your activity.  Injury and pain often occurs because of a lack of mobility and flexibility.

When I work with my clients I define flexibility as the ability of a muscle to be lengthened and mobility as the ability to move through your full range of motion efficiently and comfortably.

In this context true mobility requires a combination of flexibility, balance, coordination, control and strength.  Muscles and tissues need to lengthen, as well as work together to activate and relax in a coordinated way to allow smooth, controlled movement throughout the full range.  This requires the neuromuscular system (the communication system between the brain and muscles) to be working effectively.

Many regular exercisers acknowledge the importance of stretching after an exercise session or they try to include “flexibility training” as part of their practice, but many either skip it or perform it poorly.

Problems, pain and injury can also occur where a person is flexible but they cannot control the movement to the extent of their flexibility.  Exercises to build strength, control and balance alongside improving flexibility and releasing tension are required to improve mobility

The benefits of improved mobility are:

Better performance – When your movements are smooth and controlled you become more efficient and expend less energy and force to complete tasks.

Reduction of pain – With better coordination and flexibility you move with more flow without the need for compensation patterns; where you may use different muscles or fire muscles in a different sequence to complete a task to avoid certain joint positions.

Fewer injuries – General good balance as a component of mobility is important to help avoid falls and missteps.  Imbalances in the strength and flexibility of muscles affects posture and/or can cause improper movement patterns.

Kinesiology and Pilates work well together to improve mobility.  Kinesiology can be helpful to improve body alignment, plus address and correct imbalances in the strength and flexibility of muscles. A regular Pilates practice helps establish good posture and movement patterns.

Book a Kinesiology session here

Join a Pilates mat class here

 

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