On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
First move well, then move often: Being a young father (with a 2 and ½ year old at home and running my own business), making the most of my time is a massive thing. Moving well and being able to run around with my growing family for years to come is a massive motivator for me.
In order to move well, your joints have to be able to move through their full range of motion and the muscles have to be able to control the joint through that same range. If your brain doesn’t think your muscles are up to the task it will tighten them (and your joints) up to prevent you from injuring yourself.
Mobility: Stability vs Flexibility: Mobility or range of motion is more of an umbrella term talking about how well you move. Your body is made up of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Mobility refers to how well the joint moves. Flexibility refers to how well your muscles are able to lengthen (and contract).
Without flexibility the muscle will not want to lengthen, and your brain will put the brakes on them. This will lead to an overall reduction in your range of motion. For your muscles to work to their full potential (lengthen and contract), you must be able to control them. The ability to stabilize or control your muscles through a range of motion will take the breaks off of them. It will allow them to flex (contract), and extend (lengthen), to their hearts content.
Stretching is only half the work: Stretching is good but only relaxes the muscles, it doesn’t teach them how to work properly. That is why if you want to make long term gains with your mobility you need to be doing a combination of stretches, and exercises.
It can sound like a lot of work and that is why there are geeks like me to share with you small simple steps to help you get the most out of your body. Below you will find the 7 simple steps you can take to improve the way you move. I have even added in a little example for you to make it a bit more relevant (I’m a practical person).
7 small simple steps (with examples) to help you move better:
1. Establish your goal: "I want to be more mobile (or wakeup in the morning feeling less stiff)"
2. Set your new habit: "I want to work on my mobility for 10 mins a day."
3. Link your new habit to an old habit: "When I get home from work and am watching my favourite tv show, I will get off the couch and do my 10 min mobility routine."
4. Set up your environment for success: Place you foam roller, yoga mat, or any equipment you will need next to the couch, so it is tidy, but also a reminder of your new habit.
5. After you have completed your mobility routine pause for a second (or 5) to stop and think how good you feel (and you will, because when your body moves it releases feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin).
6. Reward yourself for your new found habit
7. Be consistent: You don’t have to do it every day. But make sure you don't miss 2 days in a row.
My favourite mobility routine (takes less than 10 mins):
Here is my favourite little routine for tight hips and a tight lower back. It gets you moving in all the right areas and all you need is a foam roller (and a band/belt if you want to be really fancy).
Glenn Stevens is a Sports Chiropractor who runs the Functional Movement Club. He helps curious entrepreneurs learn more about their body and exercise as often as they like and as hard as they want whilst recovering as quickly as possible. The Functional Movement Club specializes in giving people bite sized information about their bodies and quick, simple movement/mobility routines paired with guidance on habit-forming and routines.