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Exercises for Mobility and Functional Strength

Lat and Hamstring Stretch Using Stall Bars

Begin with your heels on the ground and the balls of your feet against the lowest rung of your stall bars, or if you don't have stall bars but have a secure object to anchor your hands to, you can have the balls of your feet pressed up against the wall with your heels on the ground. Read more


A Closer Look at Stick Mobility Exercises

This video demonstrates some movement patterns that you can do with a long stick or dowel. I shot this video indoors with hope that closer positioning to my tripod allows for easier viewing of these movements.

Using a stick to take your shoulders through these and other movements can help you identify and work through restrictions in shoulder, trunk, and hip mobility. Read more


10 High Value Mobility Exercises

What follows are what I would call high value mobility exercises - movements that yield immense physical health benefits per second of time and calorie of energy invested.

Please note that you should feel free to modify such exercises to suit your circumstances. For example, if you can't be on all fours to mobilize your wrists, you can do the same movements standing with your hands against a wall. Read more


Front Roll Into a Rickson Squat for Spinal and Hip Mobility

Once you are comfortable doing Rickson Squats and you feel sufficiently mobile through your cervical and thoracic spinal regions, you can try putting a front roll together with a Rickson squat, alternating between rolling on your right and left shoulders. Read more


Exercise to Improve Mobility Through Your Neck and Upper Back

If you're comfortable with general neck exercises that you can do while sitting or standing, but feel that there is sufficient room for improvement with mobility through your neck and upper spine, you might find this exercise helpful. Read more


Rickson Squats for Core Strength and Spinal & Hip Mobility

Rickson squats are a staple exercise in jiu jitsu - they're excellent for developing functional core strength and improving mobility throughout the spine and hips.

Be sure that you are warmed up before doing Rickson squats. Ideally, you want to be perspiring a bit, which indicates that your blood is flowing nicely through all of your soft tissues. Read more


Using Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) to Improve Hip Flexor Health and Hip Mobility

Since the 1950s, rehab specialists have used proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) to lengthen shortened tissues and improve joint mobility.

PNF involves alternating between stretching the target muscle group and contracting the same muscle group while it is lengthened. Read more


Exercises to Improve Spinal Extension and Core Strength

Here, I am using a makeshift back strap anchored to stall bars to work on spinal extension.

If you don't have access to these tools, you can use a gym ball for the initial passive stretch, or even a large ottoman or workout bench.

For the active extension exercises, you can use a back extension machine at a local gym or have a friend anchor your legs to a stable surface while your upper body hinges over it. Read more


Lumbar Mobility Exercise

This is a highly effective mobility exercise to improve rotation through the lumbar and lower thoracic spinal regions.

Begin face down on a comfortable surface. Raise your right leg behind you and try to touch the ground to your left with your right foot - you can use your arms for balance and support as you do this. Repeat with your left foot, then alternate for several repetitions. Read more


Essential Strengthening Exercises for Better Balance

This video demonstrates a series of strengthening exercises for your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles - these muscles lie on the outside of your hips and serve to stabilize your pelvis as you're standing or moving on your feet. Read more




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