Combine Your Cardio And Mobility To Get The Best Of Both Worlds
The first drop of sweat slides down your forehead and nestles into your right eyebrow. It's getting hot in here.
A short glance at the fluorescent green numbers on the screen in front of you.
"Damn, that's only 7 minutes and 12 seconds."
Just keep on banging away on the treadmill. It's a grind, but that's the point right?
What feels like an eternity later you decide to look around. It seems as though no one else is enjoying it either. This comforts you until those flashing numbers catch your eye again. It still says 7 minutes. This time 23 seconds.
"What the hell. There must be a better way to do cardio than this boring thing!" you think as you slam the STOP button, ungracefully dismount the treadmill and wander off to the men's change room for an undeserved shower.
Cardio, by definition, is boring. (To me at least). But alas, it is extremely important.
And do you know what else is extremely important?
Cardio improves the function of your heart and lungs -- two major drivers of your health -- so it pretty much helps you live longer. Mobility, on the other hand, helps you live better by reducing your injury risk, feeling less stiff during the day and minimising any aches and pains.
They are both super important, but done on their own, can be quite tedious. So let's combine the two.
That doesn't sound right...
Let's stick with Mobility-Cardio
Using mobility exercises, interspersed with other movements, to increase your heart rate to 60-70% of your heart rate max and keep it there.
Heart rate max = 220-(your age).
If you're 40 years old, your max HR is 180.
60-70% of that is 108-126 beats per minute.
Here is a sample routine of how it works. Below you will find video examples of how these exercises look.
Glute bridge with diagonal reach x5/side
Arms overhead high knee march x30 steps
Walking spiderman with hip lift x5/side
High knee walk with internal rotation x10/side
Pushup position to down-dog x10
Half kneeling hip flexor pulse x10/side
Supine leg whip x5/side
Squat with diagonal reach x5/side
Supine knee touches x5
Knee hug to reverse lunge with overhead reach x5/side
Why would you do a Mobility-Cardio routine instead of one or the other?
Well, there's a few reasons.
1. Are you ever going to spend 30-45 minutes just doing mobility work? Didn't think so.
2. TIME EFFICIENCY. In a busier and busier world, how you use your time is increasingly more important. Mobility-cardio lets you hit two birds with one stone.
3. Cardio exercise is generally repetitive in nature, so it's fairly easy to get overuse injuries when doing things like running.
4. Mobility-cardio gives you the physiological health and performance benefits of cardio exercise with the physical and psychological benefits (feeling and moving better) of mobility exercise.
5. Sometimes you don't feel up to pushing it hard in the gym. A session like this will not overly fatigue you and probably leave you feeling better than before you started!
Three Notes of Importance When Implementing Mobility-Cardio Sessions
Keep rest to a minimum
Have your towel and water ready. You want to be constantly moving for 30-45 minutes. If you stop to discuss the weekend's football results with your mate you will find your heart rate will drop and the benefits of the routine will reduce.
Warm up properly
It's still a tough exercise session, so requires a general dynamic warm-up for 5 minutes tops.
Be careful of end ranges
As you are mobilising areas of your body which are probably restricted make sure you EASE into the positions. Control your movements (no loose swinging of limbs) and slowly increase your ranges rep after rep.