The What & Why of Mobility
Your mobility, similar to flexibility, refers to your range of motion. According to physical therapist Laura Miranda, improving your mobility reflects: “your ability to achieve and control a certain range of motion.”
Having good mobility is key to a well-rounded fitness regime. By doing the below stretches, you’ll reduce your muscle tightness, improve your flexibility, and this will make exercising much safer and help you to avoid injuries.
Try the below stretches to ease any tightness in your muscles and joints, and improve your range of motion. Hold these stretches for anywhere between 30 second and 2 minutes.
Hips: Piriformis Stretch (Self.com)
Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.
Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor.
Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.
Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow on your right knee (as shown) and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right.
If the spinal rotation bothers your back, take it out and simply use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left.
Ankles: Ankle Dorsiflexion (Healthline)
Stand tall next to a wall.
Place one hand on the wall for support.
Slowly rock forward onto your toes, coming into a tip-toe position.
Slowly rock back onto your heels, lifting your toes off the ground.
Repeat 10 times.
Inner Thighs: Lateral Lunge to Plank Walkout (Health.com)
Stand with core engaged and feet apart, 6 to 10 inches wider than hips.
Bend right knee and hinge into right hip, keeping back flat and left leg straight.
Push back to starting position, and repeat on other side.
From standing position, with a straight back, reach forward enough that your palms touch the floor (on the last rep, hold here for 10 seconds).
Walk palms out to a wide-leg plank position, shoulders over wrists, knees straight, spine aligned from neck to hips.
Then, tuck head and walk hands back to feet.
Glutes: Glute Stretch (Men’s Health)
Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Lift one ankle up and rest it across the opposite knee.
Reach underneath the lower leg and pull up towards your chest.
Repeat with the opposite leg.
Shoulders & Back: Thread the Needle (Byrdie)
On the floor or a mat, kneel on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips.
Release one arm and swing it out to the side, keeping your abs braced. Gonzalez says that it should look “like an airplane wing.”
Glide the moving arm back down and under your support arm, like threading a needle. Your moving arm is the thread, and your stable arm is the needle’s eye. Your moving shoulder should be near the floor.
Slide your arm back out and repeat. You should feel your shoulder blades loosening as you perform the move.
Back, Hips & Quads: Lunge With Spinal Twist (Self.com)
Start standing with your feet together.
Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance.
Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.
Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Repeat on the other side.
Don’t Forget to Stretch!
Stretching before and after exercising is key to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workout. If you’re unsure how, check out our blogs on dynamic stretching here, warm-ups here, and cool-downs here.