3 Essential Stretches For Mobility
Good mobility means better, more efficient movement. Having a good range of motion through your joints will not only improve your performance in the gym, but help you function better day to day and minimise the risk of injury.
Try this simple test: starting in a standing position, can you sit on the ground and stand back up again without using your hands as support? If this is challenging, aim to incorporate these three movements into your training. And while most things are great in moderation, you have the green light to do these stretches all the time.
1. HIP FLEXION INTO DEEP SQUAT
Maintaining mobility through the hips allows you to train through a full range of motion in this area. Not only is it crucial to your training performance, it also effects the way you function in everyday life. Poor mobility through the hips can make everyday movements difficult, even something as simple as getting up from a chair.
Standing tall with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, fold forward from your hips, grabbing the inside of you feet. Use your elbows to drive your knees out as you drop your hips down finishing in a deep squat position.
2. LUNGE ELBOW DRIVER INTO FORWARD FOLD
Many people will have better mobility on one side of their body to the other. This could be caused from a previous injury or a reliance on the side of the body that is naturally stronger. This movement allows for each side to be mobilised independently.
Position yourself in a deep lunge position with your left leg forward. If required, place your right knee on the ground. Dropping your hips down and lifting your chest up, use your left elbow to open up your left hip. Then, adjust your position so your left leg is in the middle of your hands and drive your hips back while you fold your torso forward, taking your forehead towards your left knee.
3. SEATED THORACIC ROTATION
The thoracic spine (upper back) is a common problem area for many people. Losing mobility in this area could be caused by a general lack of movement or poor posture over a long period of time. Other areas, such as the lumber spine (lower back) and neck, usually compensate which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Starting in a seated position place a foam roller between the knees and gently place your hands behind your head. Focusing on the thoracic region (the upper back) gently rotate your torso to the left, then to the right. This is one of those exercises where less is more. The lower back is not designed for rotating so you want to ensure the movement is happening higher up the spine.The foam roller will help to avoid this, as well as engage the core.