For the past two weeks, I’ve been helping Taylor improve his hip mobility in hopes of alleviating his chronic back pain. We’re doing a lot of the movements and exercises you’re familiar with. The biggest difference for Taylor is spending more time doing the mobilizations.
Many of us (including him and me) fall victim to doing a stretch for 20 or 30 seconds and hoping that will reap the benefits of a longer hold. That will help with maintenance, sure, but besides helping to restore baseline, it isn’t going to make a big change.
Taylor’s now focusing on doing a drill for 3-5 minutes, he’s breathing, contracting, relaxing and trying to move from the correct spot and feel what’s tight. This added time is the missing link for many to improve mobility. Improving your range of motion is a big task. It’s also not just about muscles, but joints, fascia, your brain and nervous system. Giving his body the time to relax and get comfortable in a shape is a game changer.
When the mobility work comes up in your program, do yourself a favor and give it more than 20 seconds, the longer you can last, the better.