Guest Post: Mobility Matters - Your Guide to Maintaining Your Body

My guest blogger today is Graeme Kerr from Fitness, Food & Travel. Graeme blogs about three of my favourite things (if you can't guess what they are, the name of his site will give you a clue) and today he's here to chat to us about fitness - namely why mobility exercises are so important and how to find the right one for you.

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New year, new you!

That’s great and prioritising your health and fitness is never a bad thing. However, sometimes in doing so we forget to maintain our bodies! Just as your car needs a service, so does your body. Mobility work is great for achieving this, but with so many techniques out there which is best for you? Hopefully the following mix of old and new will help you decide...
Mobility technique 1: Foam rolling
Once the latest trend in the fitness industry, recently foam rolling has received some bad press. However, I feel this may be unjust. After all, if it gets you feeling healthier and more mobile then that’s a tick in the goal box for me!
The idea is that foam rolling is self-myofascial release - essentially self-massaging. You roll your muscles on a firm foam cylinder to break down those knots and tight areas. Some say you can't apply enough force yourself to make this effective. However, done correctly after a workout it can offer real benefit. Done before a workout you may not see the real benefit to your muscles or performance. So save it for the post-workout cool down. Even more detail can be found here.

Mobility technique 2: Movement therapy
This is a new but growing area of health and fitness. Practitioners in the UK such as James Jowsey are paving the way for this newer technique. Essentially you go to a one on one session with a movement therapist/coach. Here they will assess your movement, diagnose the source of your issue and provide a set of exercises to fix it.

Unlike other therapists this is not a 'massage' session. Your therapist will identify part of you that is moving incorrectly and causing the issue by watching you move. This may be unrelated to where you feel pain i.e. hamstring tightness and neck pain. The corrective movements are designed to move your ill-functioning muscles through correct movement patterns repeatedly. This in time will break down any restrictions causing the pain.
A newer technique but a good one to try!
Mobility technique 3: ROMWOD
ROM what now? ROMWOD stands for Range of Motion Workout of the Day. It is a newer programme in the world of functional fitness. Designed to open the body, they use a combination of postures derived from Kung Fu, Taoist Yin and Yoga. You pay a monthly subscription to their site and gain access to daily routines ranging between 20-45 minutes.
All routines are static, but this is not static stretching. The aim is to put your body in positions and relax into them for periods of time. Over weeks and months, you can sink further into them and therefore improve your range of motion!
Your subscription also grants access to instructional videos for each posture. As well as this, all videos are accompanied with commentary so you know what you are doing. ROMWOD is a fun, relaxing way to mobilise for those looking for a different approach.
So there you have it. Three techniques that you may wish to use to maintain your body's health and function. If you do give any a try be sure to comment below with how you got on!

Thanks for such a helpful and informative post, Graeme. If anyone else would like to write a guest post for me, please get in touch!

Click here to read other guest posts on Nic's Healthy Life.

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