JCC Fitness Team on February 19, 2024
Why Mobility Matters
Fabiola Perrone, JCC Personal Trainer
While most of us relate being “fit” or “in shape” to being strong, strength doesn’t stand alone. You need good mobility.
What is mobility? It is the ability to take a specific muscle through the full range of motion, enabling you to move with control and stability.
“It’s being able to own your body,” says Fabiola Perrone, JCC Personal Trainer. “It’s about growing the possibilities of being able to get into a pose.”
Mobility isn’t necessarily going to give you a six-pack or sculpted upper arms, but improving mobility will help you feel and carry yourself better.
Muscles are compact and as one builds muscles, they tend to get tight and can constrict range of motion. Focusing on mobility as part of a workout will help build a base on which you can develop your power and strength.
“Bone density and muscle mass decrease with age,” Fabiola says. “The core of my approach is for bodies that will be functional to us throughout our aging; to build a body that can move through deeper ranges of motion.”
That translates to movements such as walking – how high you can lift your legs to take a step, and even sitting – developing the mobility for control as you sit back into a chair.
One important set of metrics that Fabiola uses to assess each personal training client is to determine their ranges of motion for specific joints – the problematic areas from shoulders to hips, knees and ankles.
Here are some simple exercises to help develop mobility in these areas.
Hips: 90/90 Stretch:
- Sit on the floor and bend one leg in front of your body with your hip rotated out. Position it so your lower leg and knee are resting on the ground. Your leg should form a 90-degree angle, and your ankle should be neutral so your foot is pointing straight.
- Position your other leg beside you with your hip rotated inward and your shin and ankle on the ground. Bend your knee so your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Your back knee should be in line with your hip, and your ankle should be neutral.
- Try to keep your back straight and resist the urge to bend to one side. Think about sitting into both hips equally and easing the lifted hip straight down toward the ground.
Knees & Ankles: Knees Over Toes
- This may be best done near a wall.
- Start by lunging forwards while allowing your knee to past your toes as far as you comfortably can. Do not allow the front heel to lift off of the floor during this phase.
- Once maximum knee flexion is reached, drive through the heel to push the body backwards to standing position.
Shoulders: Wall Circles
- Stand perpendicular to a wall.
- With your arm straight and palm facing away from the wall, slowly begin to draw a big imaginary circle with your hand.
- After your hand has reached 12 o’clock, you will need to shift your palm to face the wall.
- Go as far as you comfortably can, and reverse movement to come back to where you started.
- Stand with feet a little wider than hip width, toes facing front.
- Drive your hips back—bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open—as you…
- Sit into a squat position while still keeping your heels and toes on the ground, chest up and shoulders back.
What to expect from your assessment
Bill Herman, JCC Fitness Sales Coordinator
When we say that the JCC is for every body, we mean it. At the JCC, we never stop striving to provide fitness and wellness programs appropriate to each individual’s interest and need.
JCC Personal Training is especially suited to every body, whether it’s an athlete training for competition, a teen learning life-long healthy habits, an individual who’s trying to banish their love handles, or an older adult who wants to stay mobile and independent.
In fact, the JCC takes its mission so seriously that every new member is offered a free fitness assessment. “We want to personally acquaint you with our personal training program and how you can benefit from it,” says Blll Herman, JCC Fitness Sales Coordinator and longtime personal trainer.
“JCC Personal Trainers have a huge variety of expertise in many areas,” he says. “We are going to help you achieve your fitness goals!!!!”
Herman explains what you can expect from your JCC fitness assessment.
- At the assessment, a trainer will work with you to gather baseline information about your body composition, such as muscle mass, fat mass, visceral fat content and total inches of each body part. You will receive a detailed copy of this report for your records.
- The trainer will assess your base level of strength and identify any mobility and flexibility issues.
- You and the trainer will establish your first goal,
And now, you are ready to begin your fitness journey!