So this week I wanted to talk a bit about mobility, and how a few basic mobility moves that I have been doing have helped me stay injury-free for the past 8 years.
The difference between mobility and flexibility is that mobility focuses on joint movement and flexibility focuses on the ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen.
The three most common running injuries can be linked to a lack of mobility in the foot/ankle and hips (lack of mobility might not be the cause for those injuries at times but usually plays a big role).
Tightness in the arch of the foot is usually caused by tight calves. A lack of mobility in the foot/ankle can play a big role in the constant tightness of the calves and may result in plantar fasciitis.
Pain under the knee cap or on the side of the knee cap can be caused by the ITB pulling up onto the knee or side of the calf muscle pulling down on the knee. ITB tightness often can be linked to a lack of mobility in the hips or uneven pelvis.
Achilles injury is by far the worst injury out of the three, especially as this is an area of the body with low blood flow which slows down the healing process. Tightness in the Achilles is often linked to tight calves which can be caused by limited mobility in the foot/ankle and in the hips.
*Please note that there are many other factors that can contribute to those injuries but lack of mobility usually plays a big part.
How did we get to the point that our joints are so immobile?
Lifestyle is one - we spend way too much time sitting down during the day which "locks" up our hips but also our ongoing focus on stretching our calves, hamstrings, and quads only doesn’t help. Don't get me wrong stretching is super important and I do it on a daily basis but I also put a lot of focus on foot/ankle mobility and hip mobility.
Here is a "follow along" video that outlines my own mobility routine which I have developed over the past few years and is part of my daily regimen.
If this is your first time doing mobility work please ease into it and do only the first 5 minutes of this video. However, come back to it on a regular basis, it will really pay off!
Also a few weeks ago I ran my first ever 50k road race and here is the race vlog if you are interested in how a race day looks for me👇
Enjoy, Vlad Ixel