As you may know, we’ve been talking a lot about the TRX Suspension Trainer here at Paleohacks. We have already gone over the benefits of adding TRX into your fitness program as well as given you a Basic TRX Workout. We then discussed how to progress with your TRX workouts and also gave you an intermediate TRX workout. So, as you can tell, we really love working with the TRX Suspension Trainer.
However, as versatile and functional as the TRX is, one of the biggest reasons we here at Paleohacks love the TRX so much is because of its ability to increase both mobility and flexibility. Today we are going to go over the difference between flexibility and mobility, and show you how the TRX can benefit both. There’s also a TRX stretching routine below that you can add to your workouts.
What’s the Difference between Flexibility and Mobility?
Many people use the term “flexibility” to refer to the available range of motion around a joint. However, flexibility does not necessarily translate into moving well. “Mobility” is the term used to express how well you can move through a functional range of motion for a given joint.
This means, for example, that even if your hips are relatively flexible, you still may not have great mobility in your hip joint. This can come from some sort of impingement or a trigger point or “knot” (which we talked about in The Importance of Foam Rolling). Corrective exercises and stretches can also help mobility as well as flexibility.
Why are Flexibility and Mobility Training Important?
As I’ve mentioned before, most people these days sit at a desk all day, and the best way to combat the effects of sitting and tightened muscles is to add in a stretching routine that will target the affected muscles. This will keep muscles flexible and maintain mobility in important joints.
A flexibility and mobility program will also ensure that your muscles and joints function as efficiently as possible during your workouts. I’ve also mentioned before that by maintaining flexibility, mobility, and good posture, you are better able to engage the correct muscles during your workouts, thereby preventing injury from muscle imbalances.
Additional Flexibility and Mobility Benefits When Using the TRX Are:
- Improved circulation
- Improved range of motion
- Improved posture
- Decreased joint stiffness
- Decreased muscle tension and soreness
- Better awareness of body in space
- Mental training, such as focus and visualization
Why You Should Use the TRX in Your Flexibility and Mobility Training
The TRX Suspension Trainer allows you to leverage your body weight as well as unload your weight when performing strength, mobility and flexibility exercises. This allows you to instantly modify any exercise or stretch to meet your needs and limits. It also allows you to easily progress or regress any exercise or stretch.
TRX Stretching Routine
Add a few or all of these stretches into your TRX routines to help increase flexibility and mobility. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds.
TRX Chest Stretch – Stretches chest and front shoulders
Facing away from the anchor point, keep the arms at shoulder height and the palms facing out. Walk forward until you feel the stretch in the upper chest muscles. Be sure to keep the upper neck muscles relaxed and keep the shoulders down. As the stretch begins to lessen, take a small step backwards and lean your weight in to deepen the stretch. This allows gravity to assist you. (To target different areas of your chest and shoulders, try adjusting your arms to be slightly higher or slightly lower than shoulder height.)
TRX Upper Back Stretch – Stretches rhomboids, upper back, and neck
Facing the anchor, ground your feet hip-distance apart and slightly lean back, pulling your shoulder blades away from each other. Continue to round through your upper back, rounding your shoulders forward, while maintaining a neutral mid and lower back. To increase the stretch, add in a few slow head nods or even circle your neck side to side for more of a stretch in the neck.
TRX Hip Hinge – Stretches hips, lower back, and hamstrings, and increases hip mobility
Facing the anchor and keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips to bend forward until you feel a stretch. It’s important to make sure the back stays straight here; this is how you will increase lower back and hip flexibility.
TRX Lower Back Stretch with Rotation – Stretches lower back, lats, and hamstrings, and improves spinal rotation
Facing the anchor, lean backwards hinging at your hips and lowering your hips towards the floor. Bend your RIGHT knee as you twist towards the LEFT, trying to open your chest to the LEFT, and stack your shoulders on top on each other. Hold for 30-60 seconds on the left, then switch to the other side.
TRX Standing Figure Four Stretch – Stretches the lower back, hips, piriformis, hamstrings and glutes
Facing the anchor point, cross your RIGHT ankle over your LEFT knee. Sit your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair, making sure to keep your RIGHT knee open and reaching towards the floor. Try to maintain a straight back and continue to externally rotate at the RIGHT hip. Repeat on the LEFT.
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