One of the best ways to maintain freedom of movement is mobility training. Mobility is the amount that a joint can move through a range of motion. This functionality is essential for performing everyday physical activities as well as spontaneous fun, such as playing with the kids or grandkids, dancing or hiking.
Mobility is different than flexibility, which is the amount a muscle can extend rather than joint motion. Most exercise programs stress flexibility with stretching before and after workouts. But adding mobility exercises has specific benefits for the health of joints because it helps increase range of motion, which can reduce risk of injury.
Common injuries related to poor mobility include shoulder impingement (injury to muscles between the bones in the shoulder), pulled muscles, decreased muscle activation that cause lead to loss of strength, and joint (back, knee, neck) pain.
There are many mobility exercises for general health as well as improving the motion of specific joints. Experts recommend that individuals recovering from injuries or those with chronic joint pain consult with their physician or physical therapist.
The health and wellness website Healthline recommends a “5-Move Mobility Routine Everyone Over 40 Should Be Doing.” Check out whether these exercises may be right for you.