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Mobility Exercise Progressions

Before taking your body through mobility exercises, I think it's helpful to foam roll all of your major muscle groups. If you can use a specific foam rolling routine to follow, please feel free to have a look at the basic regimen that I do daily:

Foam Rolling Routine

It's also a good idea to work at doing some prehab mobilizing and strengthening work on your wrists, as many mobility exercises for the body require healthy wrists. Here are some stretches and strengthening techniques that are widely used by gymnasts and those within the functional movement field:

As world-renowned gymnastics coach Christopher Sommer and movement specialist Ido Portal often emphasize: the focus with all of these mobility exercises should be on quality of movement - very few mobility drills require maximum strength. The idea is to build gradual and lasting gains in overall mobility and functional strength.

When first starting out or if your mobility is quite limited, you might find the following series of exercises to be helpful in gradually restoring active range of motion of all of your major joints:

Foundational Mobility Exercises - I strive to do all of these exercises daily; I think that for most people and circumstances, this type of routine allows for excellent overall mobility.

Beyond these foundational exercises, I build upon the following 6 areas - 1 area per day - with progressively challenging exercises with an eye on gradual and lasting gains in my physical health. When you feel you are able to, you might try these exercises, but only move on to the more challenging progressions in each category when you feel highly capable and fully in control of each preceding exercise.

DAY 1: Mobility of Lower Extremities and Hips

Day 2: Mobility of the Spine

Day 3: Lower Body Strength

Day 4: Upper Body Mobility, Including Hanging and Swinging

Day 5: Balance, Agility, and Core Strength

Day 6: Upper Body Strength

Day 7: Rest

As you work on improving your mobility and functional strength, please be sure to keep the following points in mind:

  • Let your body be your guide - only try movements that you feel capable of doing without hurting yourself. Even a few inches of movement (amplitude), and one or two repetitions of any of the exercises above will lead to some benefit.

  • None of the exercises shown are intended to have you exert maximum strength; the goal is to take your body through quality, controlled movement, which will naturally lead to gains in mobility and functional strength.

  • Maintain steady breathing throughout.

As with any new exercise routine that you adopt, it's prudent to discuss your plans with your personal physician to ensure that you do not have any health issues that contraindicate the exercises you take on.

If you have questions about any of the above, please feel free to reach me directly at benkim@drbenkim.com. I wish you an enjoyable journey as you look to experience the physical freedom and joy that come with improved mobility and functional strength.

With best wishes,

Ben Kim

 
 

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