Don't Skip Mobility Day!
Whether it is a leg day or any other workout day for that matter, 9 times out of 10 you do not want to miss it for any reason. Same goes for mobility day. Just because it is the easiest workout of the week, doesn't mean it is not the most important workout of the week! I have found these mobility days to be truly life changing. They are that important to me anyway.
About 7 years ago (at age 45), I actually thought I might have to give up running as my hips, lower back, feet, and knees were in near constant achy pain. Nothing debilitating, but always hurting and it took a long time to warm up for any workout. I decided to turn a longer run day into a non-impact day and mix in some stretching and foam rolling regularly. I came up with the 5 minute on / 5 minute off cardio / stretch routine that now looks like this:
Repeat 5 times
5 minutes of non-impact cardio
5 minutes of stretching, foam rolling, or massage tool
I left the gym feeling great and started adding it in the middle of my week as well as on Sundays (my day off). Man was that perfect!. And I never gave up running, but I am running lighter (less than 200lbs) and focused on staying mobile and lighter on my feet.
It has evolved just a little by adding in more tools as well as adding in a session of swimming immediately after. The swim session is more of a technique based training session that mixes in treading, stroke technique, as well as other pool skills like drownproofing.
Here are some of our tools of the mobility day:
HyperVolt, Ryobi Orbital Car Buffer, massage balls, foam roller, hard plastic half balls to help work out any knots that are not loosening with just stretching.
After the 50 minute session above, we like to cooldown in the pool with some technique swim for 10-15 minutes, treading water for 10 minutes, then doing all the dynamic stretches you can think of in chest deep water for 5-10 minutes.
PS - if you do not have a pool, cool down with an easy walk but mix in some light stretches and dynamic movements as above.
After all of this, you will feel glorious! Like I said, if you listen to NOTHING I recommend and just do this once a week, you will notice a huge difference in your life, pain and stress levels.
Now is the time to take a hard look at this if you prefer to stretch in the comfort of your home or want to build up so you can maybe one day join a local yoga class. Remember - fitness is a journey and so is flexibility and mobility. It takes time, consistent effort, but is really not that difficult. Learn the foundation of flexibility / mobility with this weekly program..
Now Our Week Looks Like...
Monday - Upper body / Run / Swim
Tuesday - Lower body / run or ruck / swim with fins
Wednesday - Upper body day again / Run / Swim (Higher Reps)
Thursday - Mobility Day / Tread / Swim / Pool Skills
Friday - Sand Beach Run / Leg Day / Swim with fins
Saturday - Upper body mixed with Trail / Obstacle Runs
Many of my programs below have similar split routines in them, but depending on the week, we may move Mobility Day to Wednesday (just depends on how we feel). Most of the days will end in a cooldown activity where we actually do just two sets of the mobility day and call it the Mini-Mobility Cooldown:
Repeat 2 times
Cardio 5 minutes easy
Stretch, foam roll, massage tool 5 minutes
Check out the NEW Block Periodization Cycle we did Winter of 2020-21:
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3 Weeks Strength - 1 Week PT / Cardio Focus
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Jim – if you try this version you may find a healthy balance of nonimpact (bike) cardio and stretching. My mobility day is a mix of a spin class and a yoga class without too much of either AND broken up every 5 minutes. Give it a try and see how you feel. I mix in stretching, foam rolling, and massage tools during the 5 minute mobility sessions throughout the workout. THEN get into some water and really feel the benefits of zero gravity movement.
I am a retired Army/Army National Guard guy (age 73}. I struggle to walk. I can still do 30 to 50 miles on my bike. However, due to weather conditions, I opted for hiking in soft terrain. I gradually increased my walkability from 30 minutes hobbling to 2 hours with increased pace and distance. All was going well. Suddenly. I can barely walk. I have previously had severe sciatica and continue to do the recommended exercises for it, except for the ones that hurt. Maybe, I have just excessively over yogatized. I have my annual Medicare checkup within the next ten days. I was still running a 7 minute mile at nearly age 58 and doing 5ks and occasional century bike rides into my mid 60s. I now improvise with doing modified pushups, deep knee bends and knee rotations as I work my way up the staircase to bedtime. This, along with a microvaveable heating pad gives me pain free sleep. One leg is shorter than the other, and I do have arthritus in the knees, hip and lower back. How do I recover or compensate? Your advice would be appreciated. I do not take pain relievers. They either do not work or I have adverse reactions to them. Best Regards, SSG JimZz (retired)