Is your current workout routine helping you to reach your potential?Mobility is one of the three primary components (along with strength training and cardiorespiratory exercise) of an exercise program and is one that can often be overlooked. Yet because it helps muscles to function better it could be the key to achieving the strength gains you want from your workouts. Mobility exercises that move the body in multiple directions ensure that muscles can efficiently lengthen and shorten to generate the force necessary for increasing strength.

Nautilus strength equipment, like Nautilus Leverage, helps enhance strength by engaging the contractile element of muscle fibers to improve force production. To achieve the best results from strength training, each set should be performed to the point of fatigue (the inability to complete another rep). While exercise to fatigue helps promote muscle growth, it could also cause soreness. That is where mobility-specific exercises come in.

Optimal mobility requires muscles to be able to efficiently control joints as they move through their full and complete range-of-motion. Mobility exercises should use movement patterns to help lengthen muscle tissue, increase joint range-of-motion and enhance nervous system activity which could result in higher levels of force production, as well as improved coordination. A mobility workout can help promote active recovery the day after a challenging strength training workout.

A mobility workout should feature movements based on the fundamental patterns of hip hinge movements like squats or Romanian deadlifts, single-leg movements like lunges or step-ups, pushing movements like push-ups or overhead presses, pulling movements like rows or rotating movements like cable chops or rotating lifts. All of the movements can be performed on Nautilus HumanSport machines. Adding light weight to multi-planar movement patterns can help you move into a deeper range-of-motion. Multi-planar movements on the Nautilus HumanSport equipment can help promote recovery from heavy strength training workouts while improving mobility, coordination and, most importantly, strength of the fascia and other elastic tissues that connect every single muscle fiber to one another.

Looking for a workout split that includes strength training, cardiorespiratory exercise and mobility? Try the below.

Monday: Upper body strength training with pushpull movements using heavy loads on Nautilus Leverage to the point of fatigue followed by a brief (less than 10 minute) HIIT workout on a StairMaster HIIT Bike or HIIT Rower.

Tuesday: Lower body strength training focusing on hip dominant movements on the Leverage Deadlift Shrug and Glute Drive followed by exercises on traditional Nautilus strength machines.

Wednesday: Mobility workout performing the fundamental movement patterns on HumanSport machines followed by a brief (less than 10 minute) HIIT workout on a piece of StairMaster HIIT equipment.

Thursday: Repeat Monday

Friday: Repeat Tuesday

Saturday: Repeat Wednesday but with a 20-30 minute steady-state endurance workout on a Star Trac treadmill (try incline walking or running at a comfortable pace on a Star Trac Freerunner Treadmill)

Sunday: Rest day

Optimal mobility requires muscles being able to efficiently control joints as they move through their full and complete range-of-motion. Since mobility-specific workouts improve muscle function, they could help you to increase your overall strength while developing the coordination to reduce the risk of injury during your favorite activities.

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Pete McCall is a Core Health & Fitness Master Instructor, author of Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple, host of the All About Fitness podcast, an ACE and NASM-certified personal trainer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), international fitness educator and fitness blogger. In addition, Pete holds a master’s degree in exercise science and has been educating fitness professionals for more than 15 years.