Dec 01st, 2015
Dec 01st, 2015 / Nicki Chick
Mobility is key in injury prevention: flexibility without the muscle system to support it may run into injuries
Triathlon Plus 26th November 2015 by Tobina Wilson
Mobility refers to the freedom of movement your body is capable of through a range of
motion. Mobility requires your joints and soft tissue to be able to move in various
required directions. Muscle strength can only be utilised properly if the joints around
them have the ability to move without restriction. Similarly, a mobile joint needs to be
supported by good muscles to allow it to move well. Flexibility is often thought to be a
bonus but someone that is very flexible without the right muscle system to support it
may run into injuries.
Having good mobility also ensures that your movements are fluid and efficient,
therefore improving your energy efficiency and speed in sport. Sufficient mobility is
therefore a pre cursor to optimising performance.
Good mobility is key in preventing injuries.
For example, the upper back area is a key area for all three disciplines. We have all seen
cyclists whose upper backs are very flexed over the bars. If there is insufficient mobility
in the upper back to cope with these aerodynamic bike positions, the neck is forced into
a position of looking forwards which may cause irritation. This is a common cause of
neck pain in the triathlete.
Cyclists that have poor mobility in the upper back area (most of us!) may also find that
this immobility can restrict arm movements, lung capacity, optimal muscle activation in
the legs and body alignment when you transition into the run.
Another example of the importance of upper back mobility is the impact on shoulder
mobility and strength in the freestyle stroke. Limited mobility in the upper back can
restrict a good stroke action reducing efiiciency and putting the shoulder at risk of soft
Mobility of the hip flexors are particularly important for triathletes where the hip works
in a very different range for each of the disciplines. Improving your mobility allows to
allows your hip to easily move back into a running position after the cycle and prevent
common running injuries caused by poor activation of the glutes.