The short answer, it depends. Honestly, you probably think it’s the lame answer.
Even if you chose an appropriate mobility exercise for you (example a Sleeper PAILs/RAILs for trying to improve GIRD) you won’t improve if don’t use the principal of progressive overload.
So what is the purpose of a mobility exercise? Once again, FOR YOU it might be different. For many people, it can be used as a means for decreasing pain symptoms, improving usable ranges of motion which ultimately can help you improve performance in your ‘event or sport’.
However, think of it like this.. What good is a eating healthy 1x per week when you eat unhealthy the other 6? What good is saving $1,000 per month for a downpayment on a house if you only save 1 month out of the year? What good is taking guitar lessons when you only practice at home 15 minutes per week?
The ACTION we can all agree is important. However, it IS NOT the whole picture. Taking action CONSISTENTLY is equally just as important.
So let’s talk about progressive overload. Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise.
It’s really that simple. It’s often used in strength training because it’s easy to conceptualize. Bench Press 2x per week, and each session increase your weight by 5lbs while consistently doing the same reps/sets/rest/tempo.
This doesn’t only apply to typical strength training. It applies to your connective tissue as a whole. The intervention strategies will change, but the fundamental concept is the same for all of it.
Strengthening your hip capsule? Progressive overload
Recovering from a sprained ankle? Progressive overload
Developing body awareness as a generally sedentary individual? Progressive overload
So here it is..
“What should your reps & sets be for mobility work?”
- Whatever quality you’re training to improve, use those parameters.
Ex. If you’re a powerlifter then one set might look like…
A1 Back Squat 5 reps x 5 sets x 3–5 min rest x 2020 Tempo
A2 Hip CARs 3 reps each direction @85% mvc
A3 Hip Capsule CARs 3 reps each direction with 3sec pause @85% mvc
*mvc = maximal voluntary contraction.. basically move through the movement while your entire body is contracting/squeezing/bracing at 85% effort*
So why would we do A2 and A3 after Back Squats?
..First let me preface with this statement. I don’t know what limitations you’re currently working through, so I can only talk to you about how to conceptually work through this.
A1 Squat can be a great strength building exercise, and from a Mobility perspective — it develops strength in a Linear Path
A2 Healthy hips should have the ability to express motion in not just a linear path, but rotation path. So we take your hip through a global rotation which includes internally & externally rotating in our end ranges of motion. This is part of the puzzle for promoting long term joint health. ALSO, we do so at high levels of body tension that rival the intensity of our back squat.
A3 Finally, we go through capsule CARs as a way of communicating with our CNS the changes that happened.
There are other considerations to be made about reps/sets + mobility training, but if you use the information we talked about today and take action — your joints will be better off for it.
Thank you for reading. Comment below 1 thing you will take away from this information! Tag a friend who needs to read this!
Talk to you soon,