Staying mobile as you get older is something that we all have to fight. Considering that most of our jobs consist of sitting in a chair hours a day, becoming immobile early in life is easier than ever. But, when you only have a finite amount of time to get your workout it, finding time warm up can be tough, essentially pushing all the necessities for mobility away. Luckily there are a few ways to implement mobility work without taking up any more time at the gym.
1) Do your stretching and mobility separate from your workout
Common knowledge seems to be that the only time you can stretch or do mobility work is while you’re at the gym. Luckily for us, the only thing we really need for this kind of work is our bodies, and we tend to take those wherever we go. Doing 15-20 minutes of foam rolling and static stretching first thing in the morning or at night when you’re watching television is a great way to get keep yourself mobile while not having to worry about taking up more time at the gym. Also, it’s just extra movement that you wouldn’t be doing otherwise and, in this day in age, any time we can get some extra movement in is time to take advantage of.
2) Use stretching/mobility as fillers between sets
We all know that, for a lot of us, going to the gym is not a only for exercise, but for a little social time as well. Between sets we spend time talking to our gym buddies instead of taking that extra time to do something productive. Throw in some static stretching or mobility work next time you find yourself chatting it up….after all, you can still talk and stretch.
3) Use your training as mobility work
Resistance training is generally thought of as a way to either get stronger, more powerful or build muscle mass. All of this is true, of course, but it should be thought of as more than that. Good training should also be mobility work. Performing a variety of bilateral and unilateral exercises in a proper range of motion is just as effective (if not more effective) than most static stretches or mobility work can be. The key, again, is using a full range of motion (ROM). Most squats, benches and even arm curls that I’ve seen are done with 3/4 ROM or worse. If you’re using heavy weights, which is fun to do at times and helpful for anybody (if done properly), really concentrate on a full ROM during your warm up sets.