Top Mobility Tools For Traveling

Do you have holiday travels coming up, but are dealing with an achy joint or muscle that is causing you pain? Would you like to know my go-to mobility tools while you are on the go? Then stay tuned.

Almost all of us have some aches and pains, especially for those of us who are putting in the work to keep our bodies and minds strong. But very few have been taught what they can do themselves in order to decrease pain and increase functional range of motion. And even if you have learned what to do while you are at home or at the gym what do you do when you go out of town like so many of us are about to do for the holidays?

Now I want to point out, that if you are dealing with chronic pain meaning it has lasted longer than 30 days I would highly recommend working with a really good therapist who can effectively evaluate your condition and recommend a proper rehab program. This is something I personally do working in an integrative physical medicine and rehab clinic as a PA.

But if you want to take a stab at it yourself then I would definitely look into Kelly Starrett he is a world-renowned physical therapist and strength coach and is the real deal when it comes to movement and mobility. He has a company called Mobility WOD and they have literally thousands of videos walking you through different mobility practices, routines, and he breaks down exactly how to do the different movements. I personally have used these videos for years and they are great.

Because of my work and reading from individuals like Kelly Starrett I have built quite the collection of mobility tools and always bring some with me when I am traveling to deal with any pain or discomfort that I may have at the time.

My favorite by far is the simple Lacrosse ball. Lacrosse balls can be extremely effective tools for working out trigger points or tender areas of muscle tissue. These little buddies are solid enough to really work into deep tissues while being small enough to target hard to reach areas. If you are dealing with pain or restriction in the feet or along your spine you can upgrade by taking 2 lacrosse balls and taping them together. This will allow you to really target those areas specifically.

A word of caution TSA does NOT LIKE seeing 2 lacrosse balls taped together with duct tape. One year I was traveling and brought this with me and I got pulled aside and had to explain that these were for mobility and not a pipe bomb.

Just an FYI for those getting ready for the holiday travels.

My second go-to is a hollow foam roller. These have become very popular lately and it’s no wonder. You can easily improve your ROM and work to undo all the hours of sitting using one of these. The plus of getting one that is hollow is that they can easily fill the inside of the tube with shirts or socks saving you much-needed space. Many people think that foam rollers are well for rolling, but I think they are much better thought of as tools for improving mobility through contract-relax techniques or global sheer like improving mobility of the thoracic spine.

The final mobility tool I would recommend for anyone especially for while you travel is to get a mobility band with a door anchor. Having a mobility band can really take your recovery to the next level, and with the door anchor, you can use it almost anywhere. It will allow you to put your joint into a good position as well as working to improve the mobility of your joint capsule which can become extremely tight which will restrict your basic ROM.

Travel Mobility infographic.png

Again for more detailed explanations of using these tools I highly recommend looking up Kelly Starrett and Mobility WOD. I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any questions or things you would add to the list let me know in the comments below.

Again this is Floyd Meyer reminding you to Move Better so you can Do More!

 

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