The fitness industry is saturated with trendy training protocols, “innovative” exercise machines, and online “experts” suggesting the next best way to get fit fast. So saturated, in fact, that it can be difficult to decipher what information is legitimate and what information is, for the lack of a better term, misinformation.
With one “expert” saying one thing and the next “expert” suggesting the exact opposite, it’s understandable why so many are confused as to the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of a given training methodology.
One training methodology that has been getting a lot of attention in recent years is movement training, or mobility training. It begs the question, how effective is movement training for one’s fitness goals and objectives?
Before diving in, we must first understand what movement training is…
What is Movement Training?
Simply put, it’s a training protocol aimed at improving mobility and flexibility for reasons we’ll discuss shortly. In other words, it’s a means of improving the efficiency in the way that we move, both athletically, and in everyday life.
Consisting of various mobility exercises and flexibility stretches, movement training promotes range of motion, balance, and stability, among other things.
Moreover, while movement training is primarily thought to be a means of improving mobility, it also promotes muscular and joint strength; a crucial capability for fitness mechanics such as squatting, jumping, pushing, and pulling.
Below are a few examples of movement training exercises:
- Ankle Alphabets
- Arm Circles
- High Knees
- Leg Swings
- Figure Eights
- Shoulder Passthroughs
- Hip Openers
- Hamstring/Quad Stretch
- Kobra Pose
- Squat Hold
As you can see, movement training is simply a broad umbrella term for mobility and flexibility training. It comes in all forms and facets and can be a combination of any static stretch, dynamic exercise, yoga pose, or other movement mechanic practice.
So, you may now be wondering, what are the benefits of movement training? Let’s get into it!
Benefits of Movement Training
Movement training is beneficial for several reasons, especially for those pursuing fitness goals, whatever those goals may be.
Because fitness requires a certain level of fluidity of movement, agility, mobility, flexibility, strength and athleticism, it’s imperative that you work on those attributes.
One effective way of doing so is through the implementation of movement training.
Moreover, in order to progress through one’s fitness journey, one must remain consistent and boast the ability to challenge themselves in times of difficulty. One common way for the journey to end is, of course, injury.
Luckily, movement training reduces the risk of injury and improves the rate at which we recover, hence, allowing a sustained effort towards your fitness goal.
Below are the most common benefits of movement training:
- Relieves Muscle & Joint Pain/Discomfort
- Improves Range of Motion (ROM)
- Increases Flexibility, Mobility, & Coordination
- Promotes Recovery
- Reduces the Risk of Injury
- Reduces Early Onset Muscle Soreness
- Improves Athletic Performance
- Promotes Muscular Strength
- Improved Blood Circulation
As you can tell, the benefits of movement training are vast, and don’t let anyone tell you different!
No matter your fitness goal, movement training has its place; no matter your sport of choice, movement training has its place; no matter your age, weight, or health status, movement training has its place; no matter your fitness goal or objective, movement training has its place.
So, how effective is movement training for fitness? In short, not only is it extremely effective, but it’s necessary, especially when talking about fitness.
Movement training plays several roles in one’s fitness journey. Not only does it act as a primary mechanism towards progress, but it also acts as a welcomed addition, a proactive approach if you will, to injury prevention and recovery.
Movement training can be implemented as a morning routine, a warm-up, and focused workout, a post-workout cooldown, and even as a therapy for rehabilitation or prevention.
To summarize, there’s no denying the effectiveness of movement training when it comes to fitness, no matter what your goals may be. Movement training should be a part of your daily fitness regimen, whether you’re a novice or elite athlete.
Without it, progress will plateau, injuries will occur, movement and mobility will deteriorate, all sooner rather than later!
Implementing a training regimen involving movement training exercises doesn’t have to be difficult, overwhelming, or time-consuming. Instead, it simply needs to be intentional, effective, and executed consistently. If you do those things, you’ll be well on your way to a better, more mobile YOU.
- Freutel N, Minnis G. 5 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function. Healthline. 2020.
- McCall P. Training Movements, Not Muscles. ACE Fitness. 2013.
- Wouters I., Almonroeder T., DeJariais B. Effects of a Movement Training Program on Hip and Knee Frontal Plane Running Mechanics. 2012.
- Afonso J. Ramirez-Campillo R. Strength Training versus Stretching for Improving Range of Motion. MDPI. 2021.
- Cringle A. The Benefits of Mobility & Stretching. PhD Performance Nutrition. 2020.
- Cronkleton E. Bubnis D. Why Being Flexible is Great for Your Health. Healthline. 2020.