5 Mobility Exercise and Why You Need Them in Your Life
What is mobility?
The definition for mobility is ‘the ability to move or be moved freely and easily’. This implies that you are able to control the whole range of motion by just using the strength of your muscles.
For example, with good mobility we are able to move our leg through an entire range of motion or movement with just our leg muscles. Not to be confused with flexibility, where there is assistance required for the movement.
Mobility is a crucial part of our everyday activities, movements and postures. However, having good mobility of your limbs is what allows us to take our activities to the next level. After all, we’re not going to have a physio by our sides everyday stretching out our limbs!
The importance of mobility and how it effects our workouts
Mobility is critical for training as it prepares our body for the load and stress it’s about to go through with training. If a person is not able to move their joints freely through its entire range of motion, they are already putting themselves at an increased chance of injury before they even attempt to exercise.
One of the most common reasons athletes feel unfit is because they aren’t able to get into a training position properly. Such as a squat position, lying on the ground for dead bugs, lying on the bench for bench press or getting ready for a row on the rower. This is why there should be a 5-10 min period of mobility based movement before you start training.
5 mobility exercises that you need in your life!
1: DEEP LUNGE WITH ROTATION
This mobility exercise is good for stretching your spine, as well as mobilising our hamstrings and quadriceps.
To perform a deep lunge rotation, step into a lunge position and slowly go down to your knee. Once you have your knee at 90° angle, take your hand on the side of your back leg and put it on the floor. The other hand stretches into the air. Hold this pose for about 20 seconds and the repeat on the other side of the body. Assuring during the exercise that your keep your back straight and breath calmly.
2: CHILDS POSE
Child’s pose is derived from yoga. It’s a beginners yoga pose that is often used as rest. However, it also stretches out the thighs, hips and ankles and helps relax the mind and body.
To perform a Child's pose, you begin by kneeling on the floor with your toes together and knees hip width apart. Then you lower your torso between your knees, extending your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Then relaxing your shoulders towards the ground. Rest in this pose for as long as you need. If you like to further the stretch, your can walk your hands to the left or right-side slightly stretching your obliques as well.
3: CAT CAMEL
Cat Camel is a gentle mobilization for the spine and works on stretching and strengthening your core muscles. It assists with pain in the mid or lower back. It can also assist with postural deficits, especially those who work at a desk or sit down most of their day.
To perform a Cat Camel, you begin by setting up on your hands and knees, on all fours. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees should be under your hips. Drop your chin onto your chest while contracting your abdominal muscles, raise your belly button up towards the ceiling. Smoothly raise your head while dropping the belly button as low as you can, arching your back. Hold each of these positions for 5-10 seconds while doing 5-10 reps.
4: GLUTE BRIDGE
As the name states, Glute Bridges are going to stretch out your three glute muscles. The Glute Maximus, Medius and Minimus. This exercise is going to help with glute activation after a long day of sitting down at a desk job.
To perform a Glute Bridge, you start by lying on the floor face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground assuring your arms are by your side with palms facing up. From there, lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeezing the glutes hard while keeping your belly button drawn in so you don’t overextend your back. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds while completing 10 reps.
5: DEEP SQUAT
Deep Squats are great for waking up those hip, knee and ankle joints before you start a good workout. It is going to increase your knee stability and increase your activation for your glutes and hip extensors.
To perform a Deep Squat, start with your feet in a comfortable position while keeping your heels in contact with the ground throughout the entire range of the squat. You can also turn your toes out to keep your knees in line with your feet. Assure that you keep a neural spine and you’re not hunching down and curling your shoulders. Sit back into the squat like you're sitting down, resist pushing your knees forward which increased the force onto them.
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