Shoulder Health: Mobility vs. Stability

You Care Too Much About Shoulder Mobility and Not Enough About Stability

“Mobility.” It’s one of everybody’s current favorite fitness buzzwords, right up there with “functional.” Don’t even get me started on that word. Look anywhere in the heath and fitness blogosphere and you’re bound to find articles, products, and videos to improve your mobility. Hell, I’ve even written about it myself. For the most part, this focus on reaching increased ranges of motion and improving movement quality has been a good thing. Athletes who can adequately move through more ranges of motion generally seem to have lower rates of injury and perform better in the long term. However, like most things humans are involved in, we have taken the whole “mobility” thing too far. Color me shocked. With various movements reserved for emaciated and highly skilled yogis, overcomplicated warmup protocols, and torture devices designed smashing and bruising already inflamed muscles, we have placed mobility on a pedestal that most athletes not only can’t achieve, but often injure themselves doing so.

What in Kazmaier’s name is “mobility” anyways? That’s a good question. For the purposes of this discussion, I will define mobility as “the ability to comfortably reach the required range of motion to accomplish a task.” However, in the realm of biomechanics, there isn’t a unifying definition. Ask 20 different “experts” (and I use that term very loosely) in the field and maybe if you’re lucky, two of them will have the