Importance of Mobility – 11 Mobility Drill You can do From Anywhere

Functional flexibility, full natural range of motion is critical in our abilities to perform daily tasks without injury. Being able to move our bodies the way we are design without any restrictions creates healthy movement. From a performance perspective (for athletic purposes) this means greater ability to generate force, bigger lifts, higher jumps, more powerful punches etc.

 

For the average individual, this means the ability to perform daily tasks without any difficulty in movement, pains, and injuries to other body parts. Unfortunately, as we age and experience a sedentary lifestyle, we develop health related issues such as obesity, muscular imbalances, tightness and even extended injuries such as spinal problems. These imbalances can affect our movement patterns and thus affects our ability to perform daily tasks. Some of these injuries may be prevented with proper exercise, knowledge and understanding how the body functions.

 

Research has shown that individuals whom walk at last eight blocks per week, or perform at least 1 hour of exercise provided protection against further mobility loss as individuals aged (Eleanor M. Simonsick, 2005). Therefore, one of the best things you can do is just stay active! I also want to give you some mobility/stretching excercises that you can do from basically anywhere (including your office) that would be extremely beneficial for you.

 

Here are 11 of my favourite mobility/stretches that I like to do.

1)    Standing Thoracic Rotation

How to Perform:

a)    Start in a neutral position

b)    take one step forward with one leg into a half lung position. Imagine there is a pole down your spine so that you must keep your spine neutral without leaning forward or backward.

c)     Take the hand of the same side and place it lightly on your sternum.

d)    With a focus on keeping a neutral spine, (squeeze your shoulder blades back together, chest out and abs fully engaged) rotate to the same side as the step you took. Return

e)    Repeat for the other side.

Spine-Stretch-1.JPG

2)    Deep Squat

How to Perform:

a)    Start in you squat starting position, feet shoulder width apart pointed 45 degrees outward.

b)    Keeping your shoulder blades squeezed back, chest out, and core engaged to brace your back to stay neutral.

c)     Hold onto something in front of you so you may sit back, and lower yourself into your squat.

d)    Lower yourself as deep as possible until your back starts to round (can use a mirror to look).
 

3)    Lunge Side to Side

a)    Start in a neutral position, feet shoulder width apart.

b)    Take a step out to the side, about 4 feet out ward.

c)     Lean your body to one side and lower yourself down.

d)    You should feel a stretch in your groin area.
 

4)    Hinge Back

a)    Start in a neutral position with your feet apart.

b)    Imagine there is a string attached to your hip and you can only move directly backward.

c)     Hinge your hips backward until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.

d)    As you move your hips backward keep your back neutral, its best if you can look at yourself in a mirror, the moment you see your back start to round, stop!

e)    Repeat this a few times and each time you will be able to go a little bit deeper

 

Hinge-Back.JPG

5)    Hip Flexor

a)    Start on the ground with one knee on the ground (half kneeing position).

b)    Keep the foot of the knee on the ground

c)     Squeeze your glute, you will feel your hips go into a slight posterior tilt.

d)    Move your body forward and feel the stretch.

 

6)    Laying (Or Standing) Hamstring Stretch

a)    Lay on the ground with your back flat against the ground.

b)    Keeping one leg straight against the ground, slowly lift the other leg while keeping it straight.

c)     When you feel the stretch in your hamstring, stop.

d)    Take your hands, place them behind the hamstring of the raised leg, clasp your hands.

e)    Exhale as you pull your leg a bit deeper into your stretch.

Ham-String-1.jpg

 

7)    Frog Stretch

a)    Start on your knees, walk your hands out to your fore arms.

b)    Slow widen your knees

c)     Push your pelvis down to the floor, as you spread your feet.

d)    Push-Backwards as you feel the stretch in your groin area.

 

 

 

8)     a.     Ankle Mobility 1

a)    Lean against a wall and place one foot in-front of the other.

b)    Keep your leg straight and lean into the wall.

c)     Move your ankle in a U pattern while keeping your leg straight.

b.     Ankle Mobility 2

a)    Lean against a wall and place one foot in-front of the other.

b)    Keep your leg straight and lean into the wall.

c)     Move your ankle in a circular pattern while keeping your leg straight.

Shoulder-Wall-Press.JPG

 9)    Shoulder Wall Slides

a)    Stand against a wall.

b)    Engage a neutral spine and place your arms to your side at shoulder height.

c)     Make sure your wrist and hands never loose contact with the wall.

d)    Press your hands up while keeping contact with the wall.

 

10) Perfect Stretch

a)    Start on your knees, walk your hands out to your fore arms.

b)    Slow widen your knees

c)     Push your pelvis down to the floor, as you spread your feet.

d)    Push-Backwards as you feel the stretch in your groin area.
 

11) Spread the Floor

Spread-The-Floor.JPG

a)    Start in a neutral position, feet shoulder width apart.

b)    Hinge back at the hips slightly.

c)     Bring your hands overhead and focus on keeping your spine neutral.

d)    Imagine you are trying to spread the floor with your feet.

 

 

 

Bibliography
Eleanor M. Simonsick, J. M. (2005). Just get out the door! Importance of walking outside the home for maintaing mobility: Findings from the womens Health and Aging Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. , 198-203.

 

 

Mike Zhang is the founder of the FSK-12, the 12-week breakthrough program that has changed the lives of thousands of his clients using the FSK-Method. He is the 2011 TBA-SA B-Class North American Muay Thai Champion and the 2014 USMTO (National) Open Class silver medalist as well as a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience. He was team Captain at York Muay Thai in Toronto, Ontario where he helped lead and coach a team of fighters to numerous provincial and national tournaments. He was also on his college varsity track team where he represented his college at numerous national track meets. He specializes in boxing/kickboxing based work-outs to help his clients lose weight and reach their fitness goals.