How Weightlifting is the BEST Thing for Mobility

Apr 17, 2024


Before we talk about how weightlifting is the best thin you could ever do for your mobility, we need to first establish what mobility is.


What is Mobility?

Mobility is NOT flexibility.

Mobility is functional flexibility.  This means you are able to control and have strength within the range you are flexible in.

Think of it this way: Babies are super flexible. You can move their limbs all kinds of ways. But are they strong? Not really.  Do they have bodily awareness.  Not especially.  What does this mean?  It means babies are at a higher risk of injury.

You don’t want to be like a giant baby walking around.  You want to be a full grown adult who can use and control their body.  Right?

That’s where weightlifting comes in…


Do All Kinds of Weightlifting Help with Mobility?

No.  And hear me out.

It’s not just weightlifting itself that helps with mobility, it’s HOW you perform the movements.  There are styles of weightlifting that do not encourage practices that support maintaining and gaining mobility.  This is part of the reason why you get tight or may believe that weightlifting makes you inflexible.  It’s not the weightlifting itself.  You could do any form of exercise in the world, but if you don’t apply what I am about to share with you, it would still make you tight.


1. Train in Your Full ROM

You need to gain strength in the full range of motion that each joint has if you want mobility.  For example, when squatting, instead of squatting to parallel, go ALL the way down. Your body likes to stay in the range that it is stronger in because it feels safer there.  The way to avoid tightness and inflexibility is to use the range you want to maintain.  Use it or lose it.


2. Strengthen Opposing Muscles

Your body is a chain with muscles pulling on each side.  If you overtrain one side it is going to pull on the chain in that direction making it less flexible/mobile.  But if you train the muscles pulling on the opposite side it will help to maintain that balance and functional strength throughout the body.


3. Control the Movement - Don't Use Momentum.

Do slow and controlled movements throughout your full range of motion.  Even if you go through your full range of motion, you won’t be gaining strength in the area you are using momentum to push through.  Notice where you use momentum and the next time you do that movement, pause in that range and then go back up.


4. Train in All Planes of Motion

Your body does not just move forward and back.  It also moves to the side and it twists.  When you don’t train in all of these directions your body looses strength and coordination within them.  This limits your range because again, your body wants to keep you safe.  If your body doesn’t feel like it can’t do something safely it will prevent you from doing it by restricting your movement.


5. Stop Overtraining

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that overtraining results in soreness.  It’s ok to be minimally-moderately sore the day after you workout.  However, it should never be debilitating or prevent you from accomplishing daily movements with ease.  Soreness restricts movements because of (1) an increase in blood flow (2) temporary loss of strength and (3) your body preventing it from moving because it is healing.


6. Do Correctional Work

Correctional work is not needed from weightlifting.  It is needed because modern daily life is fairly dysfunctional (lots of sitting, driving, high-heel wearing, etc.).  This can also be necessary if you have muscular imbalances and structural discrepancies, like scoliosis.  If you don’t work to correct these imbalances or keep them to a minimum your body will compensate with other movement, therefore becoming less mobile.  This is something I work on heavily with my 1:1 clients.


Yay!  If you made it this far that means you’d like listening to my podcast, Fitness Beyond Aesthetics.  Tune into to episode 14 to hear me to into further depth on this topic.

You can learn more about about working 1:1 together HERE.


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