Global vs Local Mobility Training
A reader asked me to clarify these terms recently, in relation to one of my previous posts here.
Global mobility is how mobile an individual is in global movements such as squats and lunges and sport specific positions. Local mobility refers to specific joints within those global movements.
So for example, an individual may be struggling to get into the deep squat position. Whilst we may have a good idea where the limitation lies, and assuming it is a mobility restriction, it could be lack of mobility in the ankle, knee, hip, spine, shoulders etc etc. So in this case as coaches we need to look at the global movement patterns and know what we expect from these movements. A good understanding of quality global movement is something that S&C coaches need to possess. Then delve deeper when we don’t get what we expect and investigate local mobility to try to improve those movements.
This is where a good physical competency screening comes into play such as the movement dynamics system linked here.
Of course if you don’t know what you are looking for in the first place it doesn’t matter what the hell you are assessing!
And in addition, be aware that mobility is not the be all and end all. There’s a whole host of other issues that can affect the quality of movement. Personally, and in my experience, mobility is one of the key areas to address with athletes, and makes the biggest difference to their movement in the shortest time. Mobility work can be done every day, and should be coached as much as possible.
The key is to not try and be too smart and solve all the problems when you don’t really know whats going on.
Take the things you do know and work on those, and do a good job.
Performers tend to move in ways that the textbook says they shouldn’t! But yet they are often not injured and performing well. Sometimes the old phrase ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ comes into play, as does ‘stick to what you know’ and ‘refer out when you don’t know’.
Time to get mobile!