“Strength is gained in the range you train” - Charles Poliquin
The best way to showcase this is to take a look at the older population, ages 70 and up. You will see some men and women who are in great shape. They are doing things that seem impossible for their age. On the other hand, you also see the same age men and women who have difficulty walking with good posture, who are shuffling their feet and moving very slow.
How does this happen?
As we age and life gets busier, we tend to put off exercise because it is no longer a priority compared to work, family, sleep, and kids. But as the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” One of the first things to decrease as we age is our mobility to reach overhead or across our bodies (putting on a seatbelt). Why?? Because we tend to not do those movements as often as you think and then almost rarely as we get older.
Let’s take this a step further:
If you are not training in the full ranges of movement (your mobility), you are creating what is called a “weak link.” Lets take the squat for an example. We spend a lot of our time in chairs that are not low enough to use our full range of movement, nor do we have to go very far to get up because of the height. Compare your squat to that of a toddler, ass to grass and back up again with ease.
Now you try it. Did you fall over? Did you make it about half way down then grunted your way back up with some support?
Now lay on the floor on your back and bring your knees to your chest. That was easy, wasn’t it?
It is similar mobility to your squat range of motion, but you could not do it with your body weight (load). This means you have the range of motion to be able to do a full squat, but you don’t have the strength in that range of motion to be able to load the movement (body weight).
If you do not use your full range of motion during your training, you will create issues for your future self and your future self will not thank you for it.
Take care of your body, maintain a training schedule throughout your life, and work on the mobility you have today so your future self will have the ability to be one of those awesome older people in the gym!