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Mobility Exercises

Hanging Exercises to Improve Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

Hanging from an object overhead is one of the most effective ways of maintaining and improving shoulder and spinal mobility.

Be sure that you are warmed up before engaging in hanging exercises - ideally, you want to take your shoulders and spine through a solid warm-up and even work up a bit of perspiration to ensure that your tissues are well perfused with blood to prevent injury. Read more about Hanging Exercises to Improve Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

 

A Simple Routine to Improve Balance and Ankle Mobility

To build upon the ankle plantar flexion stretch that I shared earlier, here is a short routine of 3 mobility exericses that I enjoy doing to improve ankle mobility:

Ankle Raises While on Balls of Feet:

Ankle raises are excellent for strengthening your calf muscles and Achilles tendon, and for warming up all of the soft tissues that surround your ankle joints. Ankle raises are also helpful for developing balance and proprioception. Read more about A Simple Routine to Improve Balance and Ankle Mobility

 

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 about Lat and Hamstring Stretch Using Stall Bars

 

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 about A Closer Look at Stick Mobility Exercises

 

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 about 10 High Value Mobility Exercises

 

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 about Front Roll Into a Rickson Squat for Spinal and Hip Mobility

 

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 about Exercise to Improve Mobility Through Your Neck and Upper Back

 

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 about Rickson Squats for Core Strength and Spinal & Hip Mobility

 

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

 

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 about Exercises to Improve Spinal Extension and Core Strength

 

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