Mobility has become a hot term and subject in the fitness industry the past decade. Mobility training is now an industry unto itself, and people believe its a distinct quality that must be trained.
I have a different perspective on this.
Over 10 years, when I got into the industry, I was very surprised by how much "movement" was fetishized and mystified.
I had a background in dance. It was entirely routine for me roll around on the floor, to change levels, to twist and rotate and jump and land. I was not the most athletic individual, but I was athletic enough that this kind of natural movement was not anything challenging of difficult. Deep lunges, deep squats, shoulders rolls, etc,
Mainstream fitness though, this was not the case. People who did nothing but powerlift, they had very limited mobility. Even those that had athletic backgrounds, their mental models of movement was all based on conventional sports. They thought very 2-dimensional and linear.
I saw the "Mobility" movement grow and grow, but fundamental questions and truths were never discussed
1) Why would you expect to be "mobile" when you DONT move beyond sagittal plane, super stabilized lifting?
2) Why did no one make a connection between their LIFTING being the thing that was inhibiting their mobility in the first place?
The body is always going to adapt to whatever it is you do. It will adapt to the level that other functions become impaired.
With something like "mobility", it should not be surprising at all that muscles and joints become tight and dysfunctional when they are NEVER trained through their full functional ranges of motion.
This is my big gripe with specialized mobility exercises
The average person, the average lifter even, they don't need to do unique stretches.
What they need to is to LUNGE, in all directions
To pull, in all directions
To press, in all directions
To TWIST, and practice changes in level.
They need to WALK, and RUN.
If all you ever do is load your body heavy in a few positions with an incomplete ROM, it should not be surprising when joints become "tight" and muscles become shortened, and athleticism is lost.
Restoring Mobility is the Process of Performing a Greater Variety of Movement
An observation I made in studying old school bodybuilders is how ATHLETIC many of them were. Training for "mobility" didn't exist, yet they were capable of a variety of athletic strength feats.
Unlike modern lifters that tend to over-prioritize only a few exercises, they'd perform a wide variety in every training sessions. The bodybuilding directive to "work all the angles" was an intuitive understanding that maximal muscle growth required maximal function all directions.
They also incorporated many exercises that put the muscle under a full STRETCH, something you also rarely see today. Movements such as
-Ring Flys and pushups
-leaning lateral raises
-Broomstick Front bends and side bends and twists
I've gone through the routines of hundreds of lifters, and you constantly encounter these movements that are no longer done today. Exercises that essentially train flexibility and are active stretches on the muscle they are working. And they were done to keep the muscle "supple", to use old time language.
Today we'd call them mobility or stretch exercises. But at one time, they were a normal part of most everyones routine.
The truth is that ANYONE can train this way. All thats stopping people is the exercise repertoire knowledge. That is what has been lost in modern fitness; most trainers simply don't know a large variety of exercises and how to modify anything, and the general public is more limited than that.
Natural movement will do more to restore the function of your body than specialized mobilization protocol will.
Meta-Meta Point-1st Order Problem Solving
Don't solve the problem, solve for the think and circumstances that created the problem in the first place
90 Days to Diesel incorporates this principle of movement capacity into ALL of the workouts. You are doing a large variety of exercises, and its not just to make the workout hard. It is to train full anatomical functionality