Improve your mobility and stiffness with strength


Let’s set the stage. You’ve been dealing with tight shoulders or tight hips for months. You spend 10 minutes before you work out on the foam roller, then    another 20 minutes of stretching after your work out. It feels good for a while afterwards, but the next day you’re right back where you started. What gives?

The problem is many people don’t have a mobility problem but a strength problem. More specifically, a POSITIONAL strength problem. So, what does that mean? To help you understand, here is the definition of positional strength:

The ability to maintain the proper positioning of a joint through a given range of motion under stress from exertion and/or resistance.

So when your mobility and stretching isn’t working, it may be because you’re dealing with a positional strength deficit. The problem comes not when your stretching or rolling, but when you’re working out or training.

Let’s use your shoulder for example. You start with 130 degrees of elevation or overhead movement, which isn’t too bad but still not within a proper range. You do some stretching and now you have 170 degrees! Awesome! But now you go right into your work out with push-ups and pull ups. Afterwards, your range goes back to 130 degrees. The problem was your body didn’t feel comfortable in that newfound mobility, so it compensated. When under stress, your body went back to what it knows, 130 degrees not 175.

Now let’s use the same example with a different approach (and we see this work in the clinic everyday). Instead of stretching before your work out, you do some strength work (see below for video). Now you still get the 175 degrees before you train but guess what? Now you maintained 160 degrees! Your body is learning to stay in better positions and it maintained more. And the more you work on it the more consistent it stays.

So, what do you need to do?

The first thing you need to do is assess your movement. You can check that out in our blog on self-assessment here.


The other 2 highly effective drills that can help with shoulders and hips are below:

Supine swords

Knee hold bridge

So there you have it! Try these positional strength drills before AND after your work outs for the next 2 weeks and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better your mobility can change.

We’d love to hear your success so be sure to tag us in any of your videos or send us an email with your before and after pictures! You can email me directly at

You can also get in touch with me for any other questions regarding mobility or joint stiffness problems.

Xcel your health,



One Reply to “Improve your mobility and stiffness with strength”

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