When I started training, I wanted to get bigger, stronger, and faster – in as short a time as possible. Pretty standard, right? Gimme a six pack, big arms, and I want to run a 5k in 15 minutes – and I want all that by next week.
One thing I hadn’t thought about much though was movement and mobility. Stretching? That’s boring. Sure, don’t we do warm ups in the classics? And I always do a cursory roll of the shoulders before a run and that leg stretch that looks like you’re swinging your leg over a gate – I’m as mobile as can be!
But, no, the reality is far from that. Even though I was looking to get built like a tree, my current frame is more twig-like. And, like a twig, I really can’t bend much or I’ll snap. So, even though I came in wanting to deadlift, bench press, and squat all day, every day – Paul and the team convinced me otherwise. Well, I was really only convinced when I started the classes – almost immediately my shoulder mobility was an issue. So, to help with my fitness goals, Paul suggested I join William’s Movement and Mobility class on Monday lunchtimes.
William’s class has actually been brilliant. If you’re like me, and you’re lacking the knowledge and willpower to be doing mobility exercises by yourself, it’s a no brainer. So far, we’ve been doing a mix of individual exercises adjusted for our particular problem areas – back and shoulders for me. Most weeks, we’ll go through movements together as a class, targeting a specific area each week.
The class itself is upstairs in the gym, using a mix of foam rollers, sliothars, and resistance bands. Although quite low on the intensity scale, I find I do feel the difference right after the class – I feel a bit looser as I sit back at my desk. That loosening continues during the week, too, with the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday classes now leaving me less sore than before. I’ve also taken up bouldering – I think it’s called bouldering? Indoor climbing walls without a harness – and the mobility class has helped with that too.
I’d recommend the movement and mobility class for people like me starting out on a fitness programme. I know that mobility isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you picture getting fit, but it does help build a solid foundation. It’d also be helpful for those recovering from an injury or – honestly – anyone wanting to improve peak performance.
From now on, the aim isn’t just bigger, stronger, faster: it’s bigger, stronger, faster – with greater mobility!
Blog by Ben Butler.