How much mobility before stability?

You state – “And always consider mobility through the chain before asking for stability.”

The application behind this is something I’ve been thinking about for 2 years now in terms of program design. Many people say this, as do I, but in reality very few people I know are actually following this to the “umph degree”. I know many who program core stability exercises in the categories of anti-rotation, anti-flexion, etc. regardless of FMS or table assessments findings. They seek to gain the mobility simultaneously while still including stability exercises for the core, for example.

They might say “OK, so if i find objective measures that hip mobility is less than what i deem optimal I should do absolutely no core work, even basic exercises like planks and side planks?” If my response to them was “Yes” their rebuttal is always – “well since we usually include core work at the end of the sessions (around D1, D2, or E) what would we do there instead?” My answer – “do more mobility drills at the end or allocate more time in the beginning for manual therapy”. And finally they respond “eeeeehhhhhhhh, I don’t know man. I’m just not buying it”.

How far should we take this do you think Charlie?

Mobility before Stability

This is really impossible to answer.

It’s never wrong to work on stability drills concurrently with mobility, but you may be wasting your time. You might have fantastic stability and just can’t express it because of a lack of mobility.

As you know I think in terms of the FMS, so planks will probably only specifically support TSPU. Side planks can support rotary stability. It is not a bad thing to improve what you’re good at, but it is likely more important to hammer the weak link, even if it is in an isolated or dedicated part of the workout, or maybe it’s own workout as extra work.

A lot of legitimate mobility drills will be just as satisfying/challenging as “core” work, so my suggestion is that these folks are not considering all their options.  Or maybe they are hammering the mobility work in the warmup.

It just depends who you are, and what you need.

  • November 15, 2010

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John Ciani Reply

This was great timing on this entry, especially for myself. I am beginning some post-season training which has a heavy dose of mobility work. The last couple years I have done this with a number of teams and it makes future training much more productive. In the begnning I did too much, meaning too many sessions, now I have boiled it down to the first three sessions. After that the mobility comes from warm-ups and full ROM training. To see it in writing makes me feel I am on the right path, thanks.

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