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There is no doubt that mobility and flexibility work are part of a complete training program. In fact, pro athletes know that in order to function at their best, they need to be sure that they’re as mobile and flexible as they are strong. That said, can you do too much mobility drills and stretches? I think so. In this video, I cover the most important thing you should be concentrating on in your workouts and how to tell when you’ve done enough.
Stretching and flexibility work is needed to maintain the optimal length of your muscle tissue. If you lack flexibility you find it difficult to achieve the ranges of motion needed to perform certain activities (particularly those very specific athletic activities that require end range motion). That said, it is rare that you find you are tight in every muscle. In fact, this hardly ever happens. So why are we stretching every muscle as if it needs to be stretched.
The same can be said about mobility. If you find that your mobility routine continues to grow each time you see a person doing a new drill in the gym (that you then add to yours) then you likely could be doing more harm than good. You see, if you haphazardly do mobility drills you could actually be making a hyper mobile joint even more mobile. This leads to instability and increased susceptibility to injury.
The other problem common to both excessive mobility and flexibility is that unless you can exert strength in the range of motion, you are not in control of that range. So, if you consider all of the short term solutions that you or others may use to create temporary increases in motion or decreases in stiffness, then you should realize that your increased range may be inadequate. The increase in range of motion is lacking an ownership of that additional range, in the form of strength within that added movement.
The best way to increase your flexibility and mobility at the same time while not overly exaggerating the length of your workout is to simply train within a full range of motion during every lift. If you take the example of the lat pulldown, the weight itself should help to pull your shoulders into full elevation and stretch out your lats as well. Your shoulder and thoracic mobility should reach much more extension than maybe what you can do with strict mobility work.
Taking your exercises through will also allow you to develop more impressive muscles. As you work through your entire range you leave no weak spots in the strength curve of the muscle. This results in a more completely developed and muscular physique.
For a step by step program of how pro athletes train, head to http://athleanx.com and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Stop wasting time doing things that aren’t helping you to get closer to your goals of improved performance and physique. Instead, focus on just the mobility and stretching drills that will give you the body that you want (when combined with your strength training and conditioning) in the least amount of time.
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