Michael Grogan is a Personal Trainer/Movement Coach in Melbourne CBD & Clifton Hill, Australia.He uses a combination of Gymnastic Strength, Advanced Mobility and Barbell Strength & Power exercises to achieve increased levels of performance and body composition with his clients. For more information follow him on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelgrogan_movement/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGroganMovementand for enquiries contact [email protected]
At school and in life, I hated maths. I dropped out of maths as soon as I could at school and convinced myself that I just wasn’t a numbers person. In conversation I would proudly state how “I just wasn’t a numbers guy”, when it came to basic skills like splitting a meal cost with friends I would laugh about how I was terrible at maths and quickly unload the responsibility on to someone else. It wasn’t until I got to uni and without much thought elected to take a second major in Finance; thinking that there wouldn’t be much maths involved in it. When I discovered I had to tackle algebraic equations the length of my forearm, I finally had to sit down and actually wrap my head around the concept of Mathematics. I ended up passing through the degree level major without any previous aptitude towards the subject.
I reviewed what changed, I wasn’t actually bad at maths, I just never spent any time doing it! I was too freakin busy telling everyone how S@*t I was at it to spend any time actually learning the subject.
I started to look at other areas in what I was doing and going around claiming to be bad at. In the gym I would always tell everyone how inflexible I was and laugh about how I never did any mobility or that I didn’t need to because it was overrated – I was really smart – smart enough to breakdown and need hip surgery in my early twenties. It took this for me to realize the importance of balancing the body through mobility work and the importance of making it as much a part of training as the ‘fun stuff’ like powerlifting and high intensity workouts.
What I am sharing with you today is how to re-evaluate your emphasis on mobility in order to make you want to include it in your daily life. I will do this by outlining 6 common misconceptions around mobility and why they are utter horse excrement.
Misconception number 1:“But I am just naturally not as flexible as everyone else”
I used to be ‘this guy’ – nobody wants to be him but we see him so often around the gym! Yes you have been CHOSEN to be inflexible; you have been stricken with your long/short/uneven limbs to never be flexible like the rest of society and you will remain your stiff immobile self FOREVER.
Why Misconception number 1 is a load of Cow’s Bol*ock$:
Unless you have a medical condition that is preventing your muscles from flexing, your ‘natural inability’ to stretch it’s a totally fabrication of your own mind. Yes there may be people who pick up flexibility work quicker than you, but, as I found when I was ‘this guy’, it is probably more to do with the fact that you don’t include enough mobility work into your training compared to the work that reduces your flexibility such as working at a desk or overtraining certain muscle groups.
Misconception number 2: In reference to somebody who is flexible/mobile: “But you are just naturally flexible”
Hey guess what? I also used to ‘this guy’ – nobody wants to be him either, he’s the guy who claims that people who are flexible and mobile are just born that way and that because he or she was not born that way – then its ok for him/her not to do any flexibility work whatsoever because they are not naturally flexible.
Why Misconception 2 has as much value as a Nickelback Concert ticket:
This statement is often said in reference to people who are highly flexible such as ballet dancers or gymnasts. How dare we dis-credit someone else’s ability in a certain area in order to justify our own inflexibility! In the vast majority of cases that person we are referring to has spent a long time working on this area of fitness and they have reached a high level through sheer hard work and persistence. Whereas we may have taken a bikram yoga class once, nearly died of dehydration, and claimed inflexibility as a our genetics to justify our choice to not stretch again.
Misconception number 3: “I only have time for my workout – I do not have time for mobility”
We have all been there! Only a 30min express amount of time to fit all our goals and dreams into 1 quick workout – surely we don’t have time for that pesky mobility work?
Why Misconception 3: its like saying “I don’t have time to breathe this air today”
Yes I was once this guy too. A form mobility needs to be in every workout otherwise we are just forcibly making our bodies stiffer and sorer and going against everything we are actually trying to achieve in the gym. What I can suggest is creating a fusion of mobility and ‘hard work’ seamlessly into your training, which I will explain more in part 2 of this article next week.
Misconception number 4: “Mobility and Flexiblity is overrated!”
Wow – it seems like I was almost always the guy in question – yes this was my attitude too. I hear it often round the gym even now – everyone just seems to value the ‘burn’ at all costs. After 8 hours of sitting in a hip contracted position (office desk and chair) it is not the greatest idea to then sit on a exercise bike in a contracted position and pump out a 45min session without spending any time mobilizing the area. This kind of approach can lead to chronic injury.
Why YOU ARE OVERRATED if you agree with the Misconception number 4:
Mobility and flexibility work is arguably the most underrated aspect of our training. Its not just to prevent injury or to rehab, its also useful to: Get deeper into our back squats, deadlift more efficiently, pick up new movements like gymnastics and make our bodies overall stronger through a greater range of motion.
Misconception number 5: “I haven’t done any flexibility/mobility work so far and I have never been injured, so what do I need to do flexibility/mobility work for?”
This used to be me on repeat – for me it took me to the point of needing hip surgery in order to see the value of creating mobility and flexibility in the body.
Why your immobile past should not equal your flexible future:
Don’t be like me – incorporate mobility while your are not injured in order to reduce your chances of future injury.
Misconception 6: “But I am not flexible/mobile enough to do flexibility/mobility work”
This statement is a common statement heard by yoga teachers and other health professionals alike. Its absurdity is almost too much to put into written form.
Why misconception 6 makes as much sense as a book on how to learn to read:
Everyone who has ever done anything had to start somewhere. If you are so inflexible/immobile that you are of the opinion that you cannot do any flexibility/mobility work, then its probably a good indication that you need to start doing flexibility/mobility work as soon as humanly possible.
There it is, there’s not rhyme or reason that you should not be motivated to do your mobility work, whatever has been stopping you, whether its your own ego or the fact that your have not put the proper attention towards your mobility work, its now time to include it in your training….unless you have a Nickelback concert to attend or something.
In Part 2 of mobility mathematics I will be talking about how to seamlessly incorporate your mobility work into your training! WOO!
For all those wanting help with their mobility/flexibility work please get in touch: [email protected]
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