Top 10 Mobility Exercises for More Range of Motion, According to Trainers

You know the saying, “move it or lose it”? It turns out that this bossy phrase is the catchphrase of mobility (seriously!). It may sound basic, but better mobility and incorporating mobility exercises into your routine can be the secret ingredient to improving your overall health and fitness.

Simply put, mobility is the ability to move your body freely and easily, says certified physical therapist Amy Hutson, DPT, of SSM Health Physical Therapy. “Without mobility, our performance in daily activities can be limited,” says Hutson. So not only does it affect the ability to engage in essential things like getting dressed and showering, but the range your joints have also affects recreational activities like walking, swimming, or dancing.

mobility is No same as flexibility or stability, FYI. All three are related, and you can’t excel at one if you neglect the others. But it is important to understand the differences.

Meet the experts: India McPeak, CSCS, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a former varsity gymnast, and currently working on her master’s degree in exercise and sports nutrition. Amy Hutson, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist at SSM Health Physical Therapy, where she focuses on manual therapy, women’s health, and more.

Flexibility means the body can achieve a certain position, says India McPeak, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Think of flexibility as a passive range of motion, like lengthening muscles in a static stretch. Stability, on the other hand, is the ability to maintain a desired position or movement, explains McPeak. Think of stability as holding a board steady, holding a hip bridge, or balancing on one foot.

Now that you know mobility is crucial, here’s how to measure yours, a complete workout to increase mobility, and all the benefits the trainers say you’ll get.

What are the benefits of mobility?

  1. It is easy to practice. Staying mobile is so simple. Think of mobility as small movements that can be incorporated into your daily routine. “It’s like a movement snack,” says McPeak. Incorporate a few moves when you wake up, during your lunch hour, or before bed to keep your body strong, healthy, and pain-free.
  2. Helps minimize the risk of injury. Investing in mobility will reduce your risk of injury, improve joint health, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up the recovery process. “Without mobility, our bodies may not be moving optimally and therefore putting us at higher risk for injury,” says Hutson. The rupture (also known as an injury) usually occurs in areas above and below a region with limited mobility, Hutson explains. When you lack mobility in one area of ​​your body, other muscles work overtime.
  3. It can help improve strength. Mobility significantly helps improve overall strength, says McPeak. Freeing your body to move through its full range of motion will increase the quality of your workout. For example, by improving hip mobility, you can achieve a deeper squat with proper form, which ultimately results in muscle building (it’s a win-win situation).
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      10 Best Mobility Exercises to Improve Your Range of Motion

      Even if you feel like you’ve lost your mobility and your joints are anything but soft, it can make a difference. Mobility training can be done at any time, but McPeak suggests completing this 10-move routine as a pre-workout warm-up to prepare the body for conditioning. Alternatively, he can use it as a cool down after a hard training session to reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.

      And remember, consistency is the key. “The more frequently you practice mobility, the more improvements you’ll see,” says McPeak. Just five to 10 minutes a day will help you make progress, he explains. Whether you complete the entire routine at once or break up different moves throughout the day, it pays to spend time on mobility.

      So if you’re a mobility newbie or looking to improve your progress, try these 10 exercises for a complete routine, provided by McPeak.

      Instructions: Complete the full mobility circuit 2-3 times.

      1. Spider-Man lunges

      indian peak

          How:

          1. Start in a high plank/pushup position.
          2. Bend one knee toward your armpit and place your foot outside of your hand.
          3. Keep your back leg straight as you push your hips down.
          4. Hold for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position and switching legs. Complete 6 repetitions on each side.
            1. two. 90/90 hip shift

              mobility exercises

              indian peak


                  How:

                  1. Sit up straight with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart and both knees bent at 90 degrees.
                  2. Keep your heels on the ground (in the same position) and rotate your knees from side to side. (For an added challenge, keep your arms straight in front of you.)
                  3. Maintain an upright posture as you move your knees and focus on the movement of your hips. Complete 6 repetitions on each side.
                    1. 3. cat cows

                      mobility exercises

                      indian peak


                      How:

                      1. Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees directly below your hips.
                      2. Inhale as you pull your navel in toward your spine and round your lower back. Hold this “cow” position for 2-3 seconds.
                      3. Slowly transition into the “cat” position by arching your back and looking up at the sky. Hold the “cat” position for 2-3 seconds. Complete 8 repetitions in each position.
                        1. Four. prone swimmers

                          mobility exercises

                          indian peak


                              How:

                              1. Start lying on your stomach with your arms above your head.
                              2. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping your elbows straight, and circle as far as you can until your hands are behind your back.
                              3. Reverse the arm circle motion. Tip: Rest your arms between each circular motion. Complete 8 repetitions.
                                1. 5. From quadruped to downward facing dog

                                  mobility exercises

                                  indian peak


                                      How:

                                      1. Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees directly below your hips.
                                      2. Raise your knees an inch off the floor (on a bear plank) and engage your core. Hold 5 seconds.
                                      3. From this position, straighten your legs and lift your hips toward dog. Push your armpits toward your toes. Hold for 5 seconds before returning to the starting position on your hands and knees. Complete 8 repetitions in each position.
                                        1. 6. cossack squat

                                          mobility exercises

                                          indian peak


                                              How:

                                              1. Start standing with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your arms out in front of you.
                                              2. Lunge to the right side by bending your right knee, throwing your hips back, and reaching your arms forward. Keep both feet flat on the ground and maintain a neutral spine.
                                              3. Push as low as you can while maintaining proper form and hold for 1-2 seconds before switching sides. Complete 6 repetitions on each side.
                                                1. 7. T-column rotation

                                                  mobility exercises

                                                  Amy Hutson


                                                      How:

                                                      1. Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees directly below your hips.
                                                      2. Stretch your right leg out to the side, then sit on the heel of your bent knee.
                                                      3. Put your right arm under your left arm and try to touch the ground with the back of your right shoulder. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
                                                      4. Put your right hand on your right ear and twist your upper body while pointing your elbow towards the ceiling (move your gaze towards the ceiling as well).
                                                      5. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side with your left leg extended. Complete 6 repetitions on each side.
                                                        1. 8. ankle rocks

                                                          mobility exercises

                                                          indian peak


                                                              How:

                                                              1. Place one foot on a low box or bench.
                                                              2. Keep your foot flat and rock your knee forward as far as you can to feel a stretch in your ankle. Hold the stretch for 2-3 seconds.
                                                              3. Go back to the starting position. Complete 8 repetitions on each side.
                                                                1. 9. scapular flexions

                                                                  mobility exercises

                                                                  indian peak


                                                                      How:

                                                                      1. Start in a plank position and relax your shoulders so your shoulder blades are tight (think of trying to squeeze a dollar bill between them).
                                                                      2. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then push down into the floor to round out your upper back. Try to move your shoulders/shoulder blades as much as possible between each position. Complete 10 repetitions in each position.
                                                                        1. 10 Assisted deep squat

                                                                          mobility exercises

                                                                          indian peak


                                                                              How:

                                                                              1. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and hold onto a supported, vertical surface (squat rack or door frame).
                                                                              2. Keep your feet flat and your torso upright as you lower into a deep squat while holding on to a support surface.
                                                                              3. Hold the deep squat for 20-30 seconds before returning to a standing position. Complete 2 repetitions.
                                                                                1. How to track mobility progress

                                                                                  While it’s not as easy to quantify mobility as stats like running pace, you can assess your progress and check your body regularly to monitor developments with or without a professional. Measuring your mobility can highlight areas that are *chef’s kiss* and where you may need extra help.

                                                                                  1. Work with a trainer. They can perform a mobility assessment and give you personalized advice.
                                                                                  2. Movie yourself doing a variety of exercises. Recording can help you visually track the progress of movement, he explains. Observe your movement patterns over the course of a few weeks. If you see (and feel) a difference in range of motion, you’re on the right track.
                                                                                  3. Keep an exercise journal. On days you exercise, write down how your body feels, Hutson recommends. Consider the following questions and answer honestly: What can and can’t you do? What does a specific movement pattern feel like? Sometimes one move can unlock a new level of mobility, so it’s important to gauge how you feel and work on a variety of exercises.
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