How Does Lack of Mobility Cause Injury?
Mobility is the ability to move a joint through its' full range of motion with control. Mobility requires joint strength along with flexibility. When an athlete lacks mobility, they are more likely to suffer from muscle imbalance. And, according to Gray Cook, one of the world's most respected injury prevention specialists:
The primary cause of athletic injuries is neither weakness nor tightness, but rather, muscle imbalance.
The mistake many athletes and coaches make is training muscles in isolation. While exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions may build muscle, they train the muscles in isolation. These types of exercises do not improve the strength of the joint around the muscle.
Consider some of the most common athletic injuries:
Knee injury: ACL, MCL, PCL,& LCL tears
Each of these injuries involves a joint. Even a hamstring strain is closely related to mobility of the hip. If you strengthen the joints and include mobility into a training program, your athletes are much less likely to suffer from one of these common injuries.
Need proof? Athletes throughout the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB spend millions of dollars annually on specialized trainers who implement the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) into their training programs. The FMS is comprised of seven fundamental movement patterns that can be evaluated to identify muscle limitations and left/right asymmetries. These results can be analyzed and used to implement training programs directed to correct any limitations or asymmetries that may be present.
The FMS tests:
Deep Squat: Used to assess symmetrical and functional mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles, and stability of the shoulders.
Hurdle Step: Gauges stability and functional mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles.
In-Line Lunge: Used to assess torso, shoulder, hip and ankle stability and mobility, quadriceps ﬂexibility, and knee stability.
Shoulder Mobility: Assesses shoulder range of motion.
Straight Leg Raiser: Gauges hamstring and calf flexibility and pelvis stability.
Trunk Stability Push-Up: Used to assess symmetrical core stability.
Rotary Stability: Assesses core stability and full-body mobility.
How T3 Addresses Mobility and Stability
At T3, we believe that in order for our athletes to play at their best, they need to be healthy. Injury prevention is implemented in every aspect of our program. Rather than administering the FMS to each of our athletes individually, we include a "Core/Correctional" section into our classes that address many of the common limitations in athletes. This portion of our class helps our athletes improve any imbalances or weaknesses that would negatively influence their score on a Functional Movement Screen. Core strength, joint stability, and full-body mobility make up the necessary foundation for athletes to gain explosive power for their sport and decrease their likelihood of joint or muscle injury.