The Secret to Gaining Effective Mobility!

Mobility gets a lot of attention when it comes to proper warm up and cool down, injury prevention, and athletic development.  Most coaches and trainers are starting to include more active mobility exercises in their training programs and this is a great thing.

But what starts many times with good intentions can in the end be potentially dangerous for the players and the athletes if not done properly. This is especially true when we talk about younger adolescent ‘Big Men’ with their long and gangly limbs that they have difficulty controlling.

First it is important that we clearly define the concept of mobility.

Mobility is the ability of the joints and the muscle groups of the body to move freely through their full and natural ranges of motion.  Therefore, for athletic movements in sport it is crucial to incorporate mobility training, especially in the warm up routines. When the body has restrictions or limitations within the joints or muscles, not only will compensations and injuries occur, but performance will be jeopardized.

However, the danger that I want to call your attention to in this post is the concept of hyper mobility, especially among these big, young developing players that augment the lack of control that they already have. Hyper mobility is when the athlete possesses excessive ranges of motion that lack strength and stability. Along with the innate ‘softness’ of developing bodies, too much flexibility work in static positions and excessive mobility training will create hype mobility.  The dangers of hyper mobility are dislocations and subluxations of joints and muscles pulls and strains due to the inability of the athlete to stabilize these large ranges of movement.

Therefore, the secret to successful mobility training is to always include stability and strength training to help support the new range of motion. Mobilty without stability is instability! Instability in movement, especially explosive basketball movement with contact, can lead to injury.

So you have 2 choices:

  1. Choose for your warm up and mobility program exercises that incorporate BOTH mobility and stability in the same exercise. Such as the Quadruped Hip Circuit.
  2. Or choose more static mobility and flexibility exercises, but be sure to include strength and stability exercises IMMEDIETALY after and before you begin training. For example, after performing standard hip flexor and iliopsoas stretches in a half kneeling position, perform 2 to 3 sets of walking lunges down the court and back.
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