Daily Dose of Coach #432: Want to Improve Mobility? Practice More of This

Last night when I came home from work, like many nights, the kids all want to play.

Whether it's football, wrestling, or just them having them crawl all over me, this is one of my favorite parts of the day.

One thing I noticed is that play on the floor is much different than my playing from the couch.

While playing on the couch is comfortable, playing from the floor sometimes isn't. Immobile hips and ankles, don't seem to fare well while sitting, moving, or wrestling on the floor.

At a certain time in my life, sitting on the floor was the way to go. But as I've spent the majority of my adult life in chairs, it seems that this may have attributed significantly to my lack of mobility.

I also remembered about ten years ago when I did Brazillian Jujitsu. My mobility improved drastically. Not because I was stretching, but because I spent a lot of time on the ground, sitting, kneeling, and rolling around.

Kelly Starrett wrote, " What we have come to understand about modern human physiology is that it’s 'use it or lose it.' When it comes to being on the floor comfortably, it is a clear issue of losing it.

Think about how much time we spend on the ground learning to overcome gravity as babies and children. Our entire physical structures relate to managing to get up and down off the ground. Children 12-19 months have been well documented getting up off of the ground over 100 times a day!"

There are restorative qualities to your mobility and native mechanics in sitting on the floor.

It's something that we should practice more frequently rather than shy away from as we age.

Practice at night while watching TV. Or even better, read while sitting or lying on the floor. Take some mental notes on what's comfortable and what isn't. Try to fix those things through longer periods of staying on the ground.

Also, practice getting up from the ground without grabbing everything in site or touching every body part to do so. Remember the sitting and rising test and how it links to mortality?

The point is, spend more time on the ground. I think you'll find it may do wonders for those issues you haven't been able to solve with foam rolling and stretching.