While the term flexibility refers to the total available range of motion around a joint, it does not necessarily translate to moving well. Mobility expresses how well we can move through the appropriate functional rangeof motion for a joint with a given movement pattern. In order to get the most out of your body and training and to perform physical activities injury and pain-free, you will need an appropriate level of flexibility and mobility. So let’s see what mobility exercises you can do to improve this aspect of your training.
Top Mobility Exercises
1. External Shoulder Extension
A great mobility exercise for opening up your shoulder joints, which are particularly tight among swimmers and climbers, the shoulder extension requires an elastic band before you are good to go. Place your hand through the stretching band and rotate your palm up. Grip the band and lean back, stretching your arm above your head and engaging your latissimus muscle.
2. Anterior Hip Mobilization
This mobility exercise is good for runners and cyclists since it loosens up tight hip flexors, common among these groups. Place the stretch band around one quad’s hip crease and stretch that leg back placing the knee on the ground and slowly rotating the hip forward.
3. Posterior Hip Mobilization
Get on all fours and position a stretching band around one quad, then place the foot in front of the opposite knee. Oscillate your hip against the band’s pull and you’ll surely loosen up a stiff hip capsule.
4. Ankle Dorsiflexion
Ankle mobility exercises are highly important for runners, tennis and soccer players and pretty much any exercise where you have to push on your ankles. Avoid injury and make sure you get the burst you need by doing this following exercise: standing up, place the stretching band just above the ankle and step forward with that leg. Move the knee forward and oscillate outward then repeat facing the other direction.
5. 10-Minute Deep Squat
If you want to target more than one area when doing your mobility exercises, try the deep squat and work on your ankles, knees and hips at the same time. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lower your hips to your ankles, making sure to keep your feet flat on the ground. Move slightly to stimulate circulation but make sure to remain in this position for 10 min. You can start with 2-3 min and work your way up.
6. Couch Stretch
The couch stretch opens up your entire anterior muscle chain, allowing you to fully extend your hips, knees and ankles. Start on all fours with your feet against the wall. Raise on leg so the foot lies flat against the wall, then step the other leg forward, foot beneath you. Engage your glutes, quads and hip flexors by arching and relaxing your back.
7. Thoracic Mobilization On A Chair
This is a mobility exercisethat works the rotation and lateral flexion of your spine and by improving thoracic mobility it can also decrease upper back pain. Sit down on a chair and put your hand behind your head. Spread your elbows as far as you can in order to tighten your shoulder blades. Sit up straight. Keep your hips andlumbar spine from rotating and rotate as far as you can along the thoracic spine. After rotating, bend along the thoracic spine. Come back up and rotate even further, bend and rotate some more. Do this for as long as you’re still making progress with your rotations, when you see yourself stalling, switch to the other side.
Whether you prefer running 5 miles a day, or tearing it up in the weight room, mobility exercises will help you achieve your maximum potential, make sure you are able to keep proper form and protect you from injury. Only a few minutes to prepare for a safe, effective workout, I call that a bargain, don’t you?