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Peloton's Jess Sims says mobility exercise is 'not sexy' but can make workouts more effective and prevent injury

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-07

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  • Peloton instructor Jess Sims said mobility exercise is "not sexy" but is very important for fitness.
  • Mobility work improves your range of motion, which makes workouts more effective and prevents injury.
  • Mobility can be tedious, but Sims recommends scheduling it regularly for best results.

Peloton instructor Jess Sims said people should stop putting off one of the best types of exercise for overall fitness: mobility.

"Mobility is boring, mobility is not sexy but it's so important," Sims told Insider in an interview coordinated by Reebok .

Mobility refers to the range of motion in your joints, including shoulders, knees, ankles, and thoracic spine (the middle of your back). Mobility also affects your muscles' ability to maintain strength through a range of motion, making it crucial for weight lifting.

Exercises to improve mobility focus on bringing the joints through a full range of motion to strengthen and reinforce smooth, stable movement.

Mobility work can be slow, repetitive, and uncomfortable, without the adrenaline rush payoff of faster-paced exercise; however, it's worth the effort since it can improve the effectiveness of other exercise, according to Sims.

"You're never going to leave a mobility class feeling fired up," she said. "It's delayed gratification, because when you're more mobile, you get more out of your workouts."

Good mobility can help you make faster progress in the gym and prevent injury

Regular mobility work has evidence-based benefits for the gym; a better range of motion means you can work your muscles more effectively , maintain excellent form, and lower risk of injury for athletes of all ages .

For Sims, it means better workouts, and the ability to get back in the gym sooner.

"It can help you get deeper into a squat, and not take days to recover from a heavy lifting session," she said.

Examples of popular mobility exercises include:

  • " World's Greatest Stretch ": from kneeling, lunge one leg forward and plant the foot flat on the ground. Rise onto the ball of your back foot so both knees are at about 90 degrees. Place your palms on the inside of your front foot and bend your elbows, bringing your chest toward the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then reach the arm on the same side as your front leg up and overhead. Finally, lean the hips back towards the back foot, straightening the front leg and stretching the hamstring.
  • Squat rotation : Lower into a deep squat, keeping your torso as upright as possible. Place one hand on the ground, and reach the other arm up and overhead, looking up at your top hand. Switch sides and repeat. Great for mobility in a squat position and in the thoracic spine.
  • Prayer stretch : Known in yoga as child's pose. Start from a kneeling position and sit your butt back toward your heels, reaching your arms away from you with palms flat on the ground. For a deeper stretch, place your elbows on a chair or bench and, palms together, press your hands over your head toward your back.

Prioritize mobility as much as your other workouts, Sims says

People often put off mobility because it can feel like a waste of time, but Sims said it's worth committing to on a regular basis.

"If you only have 20 minutes in a day, you want something that makes you sweaty and sore. Mobility won't do that, but that doesn't mean you should do it less," Sims said.  "I schedule it, just like you would with a workout, I write down on my calendar when in the week I'm going to do it."

Noticing the benefits of mobility over time is a great motivator to keep doing it, she added.

"We should want to be able to move pain-free for as long as we possibly can," Sims said.

Read the original article on Insider

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