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/MichaelGroganMovement and for enquiries contact [email protected]

In part 1 of this article we discussed some of the common misconceptions regarding mobility and came to the conclusion that we now had the motivation to include it in our daily lives in order to realise our athletic potential and prevent a premature breakdown in our body.

In part 2 I want to share a secret with you….I too think some types of mobility and flexibility are as boring as your mum telling you that you are going to the going school uniform shopping…or in other words the last thing anyone would want to do. That’s because traditional mobility/flexibility training is often prescribed as something vague and unappealing like “10 mins of foam rolling” or “5 min calf and hamstring stretch” tucked in somewhere at the end of your program before or after your workout….yes sign me up for that, said no one ever.

That’s the problem here; mobility and flexibility work is not being prescribed in the same way as the ‘fun stuff’ in our workouts. We know we are getting stronger because we are smashing out Deadlifts at a heavier weight or we know we are dominating our cardiovascular fitness because we are running faster over 10km. But it is not commonly practiced to measure how our mobility is tracking or how we are improving our flexibility.

What I am writing about here is how to seamlessly place that mobility into your training in a way that is not only motivating but also creative so you are not only ticking the mobility box but also striving to improve it as much as you value improving your strength or cardiovascular fitness.

1. The Concept of Progressive Mobility

Deep Squatting with a neutral spine is a great tester for mobility

Deep Squatting with a neutral spine is a great tester for mobility

Alright so we know that lifting heavier is a good sign that we are getting stronger, and we know that if we can run/cycle/swim a certain distance in a shorter amount of time than we previously did that we are probably developing our cardiovascular fitness.

But what is a good measure of our improvements in mobility?…cue awkward silence.

There are many ways you can introduce mobility testing and have certain progressive mobility goals in your training. One example is how you testing how deep you can squat whilst maintaining a neutral spine and then working to improve this over a time period. Or testing how close you can get yourself in to a gymnastics pancake position and noting your improvement over time. My overall favourite is the standing pike which is a great test of your hamstring and lower back mobility.

One way to test this is to take a picture of yourself at one point in time and train to improve your mobility and take another picture of the improved version to compare the difference.

2. Use full range of Motion in all lifts

One way to trick yourself into getting on the mobility train is to ensure you are attempting to use full range of motion in all your key lifting exercises. When you squat; keep trying to get that A$$ to the grass, when you perform a chin up make sure those arms lock out fully before getting into that next rep. Slight touch of the chest and arm lock out in the all your Beach/bench Presses

Peacock squat to improve your strength and mobility 

Peacock squat to improve your strength and mobility

There are other non traditional exercises that too put your joints into full range of motion while also being classes as strength exercises such as the single leg deadlift, pistol squat and peacock squat.

Get around these exercises to trick yourself into securing a mobile future.

3. Challenge yourself with Mobility!

Right, enough messing around, we didn’t come here to make friends, time to go next level!

Once you have that base level of mobility through using progressive mobility concepts and using full range of motion through all your lifts, its now time to start getting more creative.

Gymnastic moves such as handstands, Planche, L-sit’s, muscle ups, front levers, pancakes all become available to you once you have decided to take your mobility seriously. If you don’t know what these moves are it could be time to wise up and set some big goals to start including some of these moves into your training as they will create stronger and leaner bodies as they take your bodies into places they have never been before.

Variations of an L-Sit to take your mobility training to the next level

Variations of an L-Sit to take your mobility training to the next level

Variations of an L-Sit to take your mobility training to the next level

To Conclude:

You now have the keys to a more mobile and flexible body free of injuries and pain and able to go to new levels you never thought possible. Its quite a simple message: make sure you understand the value of mobility and how it can contribute to your training by dispelling a number of misconceptions we constantly hear in gyms as discussed in part one of this article.

The 2nd key is to make sure your mobility work is creative. This can be done by ensuring your mobility training is progressive, that you use full range of motion and you actually challenge yourself with the concept of mobility just like you would in your strength or cardio training.

Its time to become ‘naturally flexible’ because NOT doing mobility is severely overrated!

For all those wanting help with their mobility/flexibility work please get in touch: [email protected]



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Michael is a Human Performance Coach based in Melbourne, Australia creating high performance human machines since 2009. Michael believes in building physical performance using gymnastic strength, advanced mobility and barbell strength & power. Building mental performance through constant challenge, goal setting and skill based activities. Building lifestyle performance through discipline and mental drive.