What is mobility and why is it important?

To put it simply, Mobility is being able to move actively in a strong and stable condition e.g. turning around from the driver’s seat to grab the grocery bag from the back seat of your car or bending over to pick up your dropped coins.  This is not to be confused with flexibility (flexibility: moving passively through extended ranges e.g. performing the splits or touching your toes) where it does not incorporate muscle activation, but rather relaxation.

Mobility means being able to MOVE in a CONTROLLED manner.

So why choose mobility?

  1. Mobility can help prevent injuries

Unlike kids that run around for days on end doing cartwheels, many adults are trapped in a chair in front of a desk or rarely moving besides that one-off bend that “puts their back out”.  NO you are not getting old, but most likely lacking mobility.  Many injuries similar to that are due to our bodies being placed in an unfamiliar over-stretched range that causes our body to strain.  Yes, the odd injury can still occur but there’s a large bank of preventable injuries we can also control.


  1. Mobility can make your life easier

Remember hearing Dad bend over and make that suffering full-of-effort sound? Or accidently dropping something on the ground and sighing knowing it’ll be a grand mission to pick it up again?

Mobility enables you to extend through ranges in a controlled and stable manner which means you can comfortably and safely reach for items on the shelves or bend over to tie your shoelaces without feeling icky about it.


  1. Mobility is stability

In the Australian Open, we saw how tennis players constantly run from one end of the court to another,  gripping their feet and ankles to the ground to perform sharp movements when chasing after the ball. Being able to reach their ankles through those out-stretched ranges yet still have stability is pertinent to prevent injury and to last the entire game (and many more to come).  Tennis players are so focused on the ball, that they have no time to sigh.  Just like an everyday adult shouldn’t have to think twice when bending over to pick up that piece of paper!

How to improve your mobility

Stretching can help you develop the flexibility through the muscles to achieve further range, BUT longevity and stability-wise it is insufficient. Rather it is more valuable to train with mobility in mind, where you are focusing on STRENGTH and STABILISATION in multiple ranges which will enable you to perform safely through extended ranges.

Weight training or functional training enables your body to move in different ranges safely and in control, with the help of weights to increase your strength (remember you can always train weight-free, before slowly progressing to weights).

Our practitioners at South Eastern Active Health can help you find exercises that are appropriate for you so you can head into mobility and kick those “arghs” and sighs out the door.