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The Unmatched Benefits of Mobility Training Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know!

As a leading training provider of fitness education, it has always been our mission to help personal trainers unlock their own potential with specialist knowledge and expertise. That’s why we’ve created a new series of blogs for Elite Personal Trainers. In this series we’re giving you the opportunity to hear from our amazing expert tutors to uncover different specialisms and disciplines of Personal Training. 

Today, we’re hearing from our Movement and Mobility Tutor, Paul Edmondson about the unmatched benefits of mobility training every personal trainer needs to know. 

Paul Edmondson Movement Expert Tutor at T2 Fitness.

Paul Edmonson is our Movement Expert and educator at T2 Fitness Education

Hi, I’m Paul, the resident movement and treatment expert here at T2. I’ve been a full time Personal Trainer for about 10 years and now spend most of my time teaching and presenting across the UK and abroad.  The courses I deliver at T2 Fitness Education are designed to help Personal Trainers progress into a niche, helping individuals, specialist populations and elite athletes. 

 

As personal trainers, we constantly seek methods to enhance our clients’ fitness journeys. One approach that is often overlooked yet incredibly transformative is mobility training. In this article, I’ll be delving deep into the world of movement and mobility training, exploring its numerous benefits, and illustrating how it can significantly impact a wide range of clients—from seniors to elite athletes.

So let’s get started. 

What is Mobility Training? 

Mobility training is a comprehensive approach to achieving improved movement, range of motion and overall functional fitness. Unlike traditional flexibility exercises that often focus on static stretching, mobility training emphasises active and dynamic movements that mimic real-life activities and sports-specific actions.

When we talk about mobility, we refer to the ability to move freely and easily. This involves the range of motion in our joints, the flexibility of our muscles, and the control and coordination of our movements. Depending on the clients you work with, mobility training may be used to maintain the ability to carry out everyday tasks, like tying shoelaces without pain. Mobility training can also be used to support those recovering from injury or as injury prevention. 

Effective mobility training helps to ensure that all these components work harmoniously, leading to better performance and reduced injury risk.

Achieving good mobility involves several components including muscled strength, joint health, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. With regular, targeted physical exercise everyone can achieve a good level of mobility. 

Level 1 Stick Mobility course at T2 Fitness Education

Advantages of Movement & Mobility Training

The advantages of incorporating mobility training into fitness routines are wide ranging. From improving daily functional movements to enhancing athletic performance, mobility training offers benefits that are essential for every personal trainer’s toolkit.

Functional Strength: Movement training strengthens muscles through functional movements, which are more applicable to everyday activities than isolated muscle exercises.

Injury Prevention: By improving joint stability and flexibility, movement training helps prevent injuries, making it ideal for clients recovering from injury or looking to prevent future issues.

Improved Coordination and Balance: Through dynamic and controlled movements, clients can enhance their coordination and balance, crucial for athletes and seniors alike.

Movement and Mobility Training Techniques

As personal trainers you may already be using a lot of techniques that improve strength and mobility. Understanding these types can help personal trainers develop comprehensive and tailored programs for their clients. Here are some of the key types:

1. Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of the body in isolation to gradually increase reach, speed and range of motion. Leg swings, arm circles and walking lunges are good examples of dynamic stretching. These exercises prepare the body for physical activity by increasing blood flow and muscle temperature to enhance performance and reduce risk of injury

2. Static Stretching

Static stretching is likely to be one technique we most commonly associate with mobility training. This involves holding a stretch for a prolonged period without movement. The aim is to improve flexibility and range of motion, and it is typically used after a workout when the muscles are warm to aid recovery and reduce stiffness. Think hamstring stretches, quadriceps stretches and calf stretches.

3. PNF Stretching

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is a combination of stretching and contracting the muscle group being targeted, like hold-relax, contract-relax techniques. Research suggests that this technique increases flexibility and range of motion more effectively than static stretching alone.

4. Loaded Movement Training

Loaded Movement Training bridges the gap between traditional load training and functional three dimensional training or movement. It combines full-body movement with load to enhance vitality, performance and reconditioning. At T2 Fitness I run a CPD course in ViPR instructor training (ViPR are the global authority on loaded movement training). The course looks at how to individualise and functionalise programmes that are best suited to your clients.

5. Stick Mobility or Movement Flow

Movement flow is a practice that combines elements from various movement disciplines to create fluid sequences. The aim is to enhance movement fluidity, coordination and overall body awareness. A contemporary practice based on these principles is Stick Mobility, which is something we offer as a 2 day course. Aimed at fitness professionals as well as individuals, this course guides you through joint mobilisation, how to use the stick to unlock inhibited movements that prevent optimal function, and improve muscle activation.

6. Yoga and Pilates

Both yoga and pilates are low-impact, holistic practices that combine physical postures, breath control and flexibility. They enhance core strength, balance, flexibility and encourage overall body awareness. 

7. Strength & Conditioning

While strength and conditioning training is not classified as a movement and mobility technique on its own, it plays a crucial role in supporting and enhancing the effectiveness of movement and mobility programs. Integrating both strength and conditioning training with specific movement and mobility exercises can provide comprehensive benefits for clients, improving overall physical fitness, performance, and mobility capabilities. We offer a level 4 Strength and Conditioning course. As well as learning how to help clients reach their peak performance you’ll learn what it takes to achieve marginal gains from effective programming and pushing to boundaries of mobility and stability. 

8. Sports Massage Therapy

While not technically a mobility technique, sports massage therapy is really effective at improving mobility. The deep tissue massage is specifically tailored to athletes and active individuals, focusing on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive movements.  especially when coupled with other effective stretching and exercise techniques. 

While sports massage therapy doesn’t involve the active movement patterns and neuromuscular control emphasised in movement and mobility training, it can prepare muscles for movement training and aid recovery. So if you want to help facilitate recovery and prevent injury for your clients then our Level 3 Sports Massage course is a good place to start. 

The Opportunity for Fitness Professionals

Many of us sit at a desk all day in virtually the same position. In our experience we’re seeing more and more people with poor range of motion, terrible flexibility, poor reflexes and constant aches and pains. There has never been a greater need to address the decline in physical activity and poor mobility, which means there has never been a greater opportunity for Personal Trainers. 

Being able to understand and incorporate movement and mobility exercises into your classes or one-to-one sessions is vital for improved health and performance. Here are just some of the benefits we see from working with clients. 

Benefits of Movement & Mobility Training

Health Benefits 

The physical health benefits of movement & mobility training are extensive and can significantly enhance your clients’ overall well-being. Regular mobility training keeps joints healthy by maintaining their range of motion. For example, incorporating hip mobility exercises can alleviate tightness and reduce lower back pain—a common issue for many clients.

Movement training targets muscles in a more integrated manner, promoting functional strength. For instance, exercises like the Turkish get-up or the deep squat help in building strength that translates to real-world activities.

Many clients suffer from poor posture due to prolonged sitting or repetitive movements. Mobility training can correct postural imbalances, leading to reduced pain and improved alignment. Personally, I’ve seen significant improvements in clients who have integrated thoracic spine mobility exercises into their routines, resulting in better posture and reduced upper back discomfort.

Mental Benefits of Mobility Training

The mental health benefits of movement training are equally compelling. Movement training isn’t just about the body; it also nurtures the mind.

Engaging in mobility exercises can be a meditative process, helping clients to reduce stress and anxiety. The rhythmic nature of these exercises, combined with focused breathing, can create a calming effect similar to yoga. Since mobility training requires a high level of awareness and control it helps to foster a stronger mind-body connection. This can lead to improved mental clarity and focus, both during workouts and in daily life.

The Mental Health Foundation advocates for the positive effect that physical activity can have on mental health. Exercise releases endorphins – feel good hormones – and exercises that involve coordination and balance, can boost cognitive function. Mobility training, with its emphasis on control and coordination, can therefore be a great way to keep the mind sharp.

Movement & Mobility Training Boosts Energy

One of the lesser-known benefits of movement training is its ability to boost energy levels. Dynamic mobility exercises get the blood flowing, improving circulation and cardiovascular health. This not only boosts energy levels but also aids in recovery and reduces fatigue.

Better circulation means more oxygen is delivered to the muscles. This can enhance endurance and reduce the feeling of fatigue during and after workouts. Regular mobility training can also reduce overall fatigue and increase stamina, allowing clients to engage more actively in their daily lives and workouts. Personally, I’ve noticed clients who perform mobility drills like leg swings or shoulder circles before their main workout often report feeling more energised and less fatigued.

Movement Training for Longevity

Movement training is particularly beneficial for promoting longevity. By maintaining mobility, clients can enjoy a higher quality of life well into their later years, which is vital when working with an ever increasingly older population. As we age, our joints can become stiffer, and our range of motion can decrease. Regular mobility training helps to prevent these age-related issues, keeping clients active and independent.

For seniors, maintaining mobility is crucial for independence. Exercises that focus on balance and stability can help prevent falls and other injuries. One of my senior clients, who regularly practises balance-focused mobility exercises, has significantly improved her stability and confidence in performing daily activities. 

Since mobility training is typically low impact it is often a preferred way for older people to exercise. Physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. The holistic approach of mobility training supports overall health, making it an excellent preventative measure.

Performance Benefits of Movement Training

For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, mobility training can lead to significant performance enhancements. Primarily, it increases agility and coordination, which are crucial for many sports. Exercises that involve multi-planar movements, such as lateral lunges and rotational stretches, can really improve athletic performance.

Also, by improving the range of motion and muscle function, mobility training can lead to increased power and strength. Athletes who incorporate mobility drills often find they can generate more force and perform better in their sports.

Again, mobility training helps in preventing injuries by ensuring that joints and muscles are functioning optimally. For those recovering from injuries, mobility exercises can aid in the rehabilitation process, helping clients return to their activities faster and stronger.

Finishing Up

The benefits of movement and mobility training are vast and can significantly enhance the lives of your clients. From improving physical and mental health to boosting energy and performance, mobility training is a valuable addition to any fitness routine. As a personal trainer, incorporating mobility training into your practice can help you unlock your clients’ full potential, regardless of their age or fitness level.

If you’re looking to specialise in this transformative area, consider exploring our fitness education courses which are either accredited by CIMSPA or awarded by recognised professional bodies. If you’re at the start of PT journey then fast-track your qualifications and career with our Diploma in Personal Training. With the right knowledge and skills, you can guide your clients towards a healthier, more active lifestyle, ensuring they reap the unmatched benefits of movement and mobility training.

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