I get it.
It hurts when you move so you try to limit the amount you move so you don't hurt as much.
It's a natural reaction. And it's one your brain is counting on. Let's chat about why your brain is banking on you doing that and whats the sneaky bugger up to?
I'm going to start by saying this.
Your brain loves you.
Like reeeaaaallllyyy loves you and doesn't want you to get hurt. But much like a toddler and a mud puddle it can't really trust you not to make the right choices.
So in order to keep you safe and alive the main job of the brain is protection and survival. To do that it needs to be a bit of an ass at times and make some tough decisions.
You might want to run or lift or swim or whatever it is you want to do but the brain will have to step in and be momma bear and stop you.
Remember, your brain's priorities aren't the same as your priorities.
And with that in mind let's talk about mobility.
Barring any mechanical restriction it's your brain that is putting a stop to your mobility gains.
Yup. It's true.
Let me tell you why.
There are generally two reasons your brain will limit your mobility.
Those reasons are strength in a position or range and lack of use.
Think on it.
If you're weak in a range or position, why the hell would your brain let you go there if you can't get yourself back out?
If your brain even for a second, thinks you're not safe in a range or position and run the risk of getting hurt, then it's going to stop you.
Guess how it's going to stop you?
Thats right, by hurting you!
Pain is the best tool your body has to make you pay attention and it uses it to draw attention to boo boo's and to stop you doing anything thats going to hurt you.
So how do we get strong in our range of movement so the brain lets us go there?
Well the answer is bit by bit. you need to earn the trust of your brain and that will happen as you build strength.
Take this exercise from the Mobility Reset program.
The L-sit to tabletop is the perfect trust building exercise between you and the big squishy thing upstairs.
Not only does the movement help you build range by asking the brain to complete the task of reaching a nice flat end position it builds the strength in shoulder extension support and stability, hip extension, glute, hamstring and spinal erector activation and not only all that.
It builds the co-ordination throughout the whole body needed to complete the task.
And co-ordination builds comfort. Which builds trust. See what I mean?
Try it here:
Strength and stability are key for mobility.
That brings me on to the second thing. Using the ranges you have.
One of the truest things I have ever learned about the brain body connection is, if you don't use it you lose it.
Your brain doesn't want to devote any time or space, and that means neurons to crap it doesn't use.
It doesn't matter if you were an olympic gymnast. If you don't frequently move into the ranges you have then you WILL lose them.
To make that more relatable.
If you sit at a desk all day and you're always slouched over and never move your spine in any other direction. Then guess what? You're going to end up with humped posture and an inability to extend or rotate your back. Which will end up causing you pain.
The way the brain sees it is this. We haven't arched or rotated our spine in weeks so do I need to keep devoting brain map space to this ability. Hell no I don't, i'm going to use those neurons for something else.
If this sounds like you, try this spinal wave exercise from the mobility reset program to see if you are lacking the ability to move your spine the way is should move.
So what i'm saying is this.
In order to be mobile or build mobility, you need to build the strength and stability in the ranges you want in order for the brain to let you go there.
And you have to couple that with with using those ranges frequently or your brain will take the ability to use them away from you.
Basically it all comes down to using a joint like a joint and using it often!