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Exercises for Mobility and Functional Strength

Rocking Cobra for Back and Shoulder Stiffness

Alternating between Cobra pose and a kneeling tuck is an excellent way to improve mobility through your spine and shoulders.

When in Cobra pose, squeeze your buttocks and quads to keep your core strong, and focus on keeping your shoulders down and your shoulder blades squeezed toward one another. Cobra pose is highly effective for improving extension through the thoracic region of your spinal column. Read more

 

Shoulder Mobility Exercises While Supine

Here are three simple mobility exercises that one can use while lying on any stable surface to improve shoulder and scapular function. Read more

 

Chinese Arm Circles for Shoulder Mobility and Strength

This is a nice complementary exercise to German Arm Swings when looking to improve shoulder mobility and strength. As you become comfortable with these Chinese Arm Circles while using a very light weight, you can gradually increase the amount of weight you use to further improve mobility and functional strength of your shoulders. Read more

 

German Arm Swings for Shoulder and Scapulothoracic Mobility

Here's a simple technique from German gymnastics that is highly effective for improving mobility of the shoulder joints and scapulothoracic articulations. Read more

 

How to Improve Balance and Proprioception

After posting a clip of a simple game that can be used to improve joint position sense and balance, I received a number of messages from readers asking for ways to work on proprioception when one doesn't have a partner to work with. Read more

 

3 Types of Squats to Improve Functional Knee Strength

To build upon the prior video on strengthening exercises for knee pain and stiffness, here are three additional types of squats that are helpful in improving functional knee strength. I found a simple way to add audio to this video, so please be sure that your volume is on. Read more

 

Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain

One of the keys to addressing knee pain and stiffness is to improve functional strength of the muscles that control knee extension and flexion.

This video demonstrates simple variations of the basic squat that are highly effective for improving functional strength of the knees.

The idea is to begin sitting on a stable surface, and to do the following squats:

1. Basic Squat on two feet. Read more

 

5 Stretches for Back Pain and Stiffness

A healthy back requires a mobile spine that is able to freely move in multiple directions, with flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral flexion being the major directions of normal range of motion.

Regular practice of the exercises in this video will promote healthy range of motion of your spine, as well as healthy tone of the soft tissues (ligaments, fascia, muscles, and tendons) that surround your spine. Read more

 

An Essential Stretch for Proper Hip Function

If you find that you can't take your hips through the exercises found in my exercise routine for hip pain and stiffness, you might need to spend time improving internal rotation of your hip joints.

When internal rotation is limited due to a hypertonic ligamentous capsule, the head of the femur doesn't have the necessary freedom to optimally swivel within the acetabular fossa of the pelvis, which limits all other ranges of motion of the hip, including flexion, extension, external rotation, abduction, adduction, and circumduction.

This progression of stretches to improve internal rotation of the hip joints is similar to the sleeper stretch that one can use to improve internal rotation and overall function of the shoulder joints. Read more

 

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