Paul asked the following question inside the private group for Strength Health Mind Power Inner Circle members:
“My naive question would be how to get good mobility work done in the shortest time possible. I was doing Pavel Tsatsouline’s routine from Super Joints (the easy one!) and it was taking 20-30 minutes. I don’t have that time each day on top of breathing, energy, strength and endurance training.”
It’s not a naïve question at all.
In fact, it is so good, I thought I would share it with everyone.
The time frame question depends on what you’re going for.
In Pavel’s Super Joints (which happens to be probably the first thing that got me into mobility training) the purpose is the following:
- Doing lots of reps on each of the joints specifically to lubricate them in synovial fluid, to ensure their health and mobility.
But is this necessary?
To understand we need to go back to first principles. All of our training is essentially used as a supplement because the vast majority of us lack quality and quantity of movement throughout our day.
In short, we work at computers rather than hunting and gathering and playing each day. In a natural lifestyle, most people would essentially get all the movement, covering all the different athletic components (breathing, strength, endurance, mobility, etc.) throughout their day. But when we become sedentary we need to bring that movement back in. And unfortunately, typically, it comes back in piece meal.
There’s your strength workout. There’s the cardio training. There’s the mobility practice. There’s breathing. There’s stretching.
Even though “isolation” movements may have been left behind by some, we’re still isolating movement qualities.
The more your “workouts” can cover everything at once the better. Better for overall movement quality, and definitely better for time management.
This leads me to the following question:
How much mobility is ideal?
Unless you’re going for a specific goal that requires exceptional mobility, all you need is the normal full range. And this should be easy enough for your to do.
Yes, you can spend a half hour on it, per day if you want to. And for people that don’t have good mobility, you’ll want to spend some time, maybe a couple of months doing this much work.
But once you have good mobility, what does it take to maintain it?
A few minutes.
The Ideal Posture Protocol that is covered in September’s Inner Circle newsletter, is a good case in point. It is about mobility, being done for posture purposes. If your posture is horrible you’ll need to spend a bit more time doing it. If your posture is pretty good, just a couple minutes a day can be sufficient.
That’s how I do it. Every once in a while I’ll do a 20 to 30 minute mobility routine. I do that when I FEEL like my body is craving more movement. But typically I do not spend that much time.
I’ll do a few minutes in the morning. I’ll feel out my body and do a few things before, during and after workouts sometimes. I’ll do a couple drills throughout the day.
I mean really, how long would it take to do one quality circle per joint across your whole body? Not much. And the more you can bring diverse movement back into your day.
I love playing with my nieces, not just because it’s fun for them and me, but because it requires me to move many ways I wouldn’t otherwise.