Let me first begin by saying that I recommend mobility work to all my clients. Almost everyone, except for maybe dancers, yoga junkies, or high-level weightlifters have some slight mobility issues that they could possibly benefit from working on.
There are generally two types of people when it comes to working on mobility, people who perform mobility work and those that don't.
Seems pretty obvious right?
There is a slight problem with this however. I'm speaking in generalities here, but most people that do mobility work tend to overdo it. I'm not saying that all people who work on their mobility overdo it, but rather I am saying that a large percentage do spend a little too much time. There comes a point where you are just wasting your time.
If you spend your first 30 minutes at the gym doing the same foam rolling and mobility routine that you do everytime you come in, you are probably wasting your time.
Do you what you came to the gym to do in the first place. Lift some weights, do some cardio, but stop spending so much time foam rolling, stretching, and "warming up."
If you lack mobility in an area and it is inhibiting you from performing certain exercises safely and effectively, then yes you have a clear mobility issue that needs to be addressed.
For example, if you cannot perform and overhead press without hyperxtending your lower back, then you may need to work on your lat mobility. If you have trouble getting deep in a squat, you may need to work on your hip flexion or ankle dorsiflexion mobility.
In these cases, there is a problem at hand that needs to be addressed. There is a purpose for why mobility work needs to be performed.
There has to be a point as to why you are performing certain mobility work. Don't just do it because other people are doing it. You have different needs then they do. Don't just do it because you have been doing it for months. You have probably helped fix the issue already and are now just wasting your time.
Unless you have a severe issue, your movement restriction can most likely be resolved in the matter of weeks to a couple months, if you are consistent and diligent with the process.
After that, it does not take much to keep it.
Taking your body through range of motions or exercises that utilizes that new found mobility a couple times a week will keep that mobility locked in.
So, the take home point of this post is this.
Work on areas specific to you that you know you have that limit you from performing day to day activities or specific exercises. Work hard on those areas for a few weeks to a couple months (depending on severity) until you have the range of motion you need. After that, dial it down. It's all about maintanance. You no longer need to spend multiple days a week or bulk amounts of time working on your mobility to keep it. A small amount of foam rolling followed by a few full-range of motion movements or drills is all that is needed to preserve your new found mobility.
Till next time,