With so many mobility drills and exercises available now, it can be difficult to determine which ones you should do.
Yes, doing an extensive list of mobility drills is ideal but the reality is…
Most of us have 5-15 minutes to warmup and another 45 minutes to workout before we head home. So, in this post I want to give you My Top 3 Favorite Mobility Drills I do everyday even when I’m lacking time.
Why these 3?
They target the muscle groups that are responsible for the most common movement dysfunctions, build mobility/range of motion, and help prepare your body to workout.
These are also stretches I utilize with my clients everyday at Reign Fitness.
If you do have the time for a full dynamic warmup + mobility drills, try incorporating this awesome dynamic warmup perfect to help prep your body for your training.
My Top 3 Favorite Mobility Exercises
Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch
The rear foot elevated hip flexor stretch is definitely one of my favorites because it tackles one of the most common, if not the most common area of dysfunction… the Hip Flexor.
This area is made up of muscles like the quads, psoas, and iliacus that are primarily responsible for hip flexion.
These muscles are also the most common to become shortened from static positions like long periods of sitting which can cause improper exercise form, poor posture, and back pain.
By incorporating this stretch, you not only reverse the negative effects of long periods of sitting but also improve mobility to the hip flexors. Improved movement is always a bonus too!
How To Do The Stretch
Set up a bench, split squat pad (you can even use the wall) at about knee height. Use a pad under your knee to raise yourself up if the bench/pad is too high. The pad is also nice to cushion the knee that can be irritated from contact with the ground. Place the front crease of your ankle on the bench/pad then bring the other knee out in front of you in a half kneeling position.
Make sure your pelvis/hips are in a neutral position (straight) position and not tilted forward or backward. While maintaining a tight and stable core, squeeze your glute on the back leg. As soon as you squeeze, you will feel the tension/stretch immediately down the front side of your leg and in the hip flexor.
If the stretch is feeling okay, you can make it dynamic…
Once you’re in position, place both hands on the front knee and move slightly back and forth. This movement is small, 1-2 inches, and helps stretch and relax the hip flexors.
You may be so tight that even getting into this position will be difficult and in that case, movement is not necessary.
Try to stay in this position or with movement for 1-3 minutes.
Remember that consistency is key.
The Saddle Stretch
The saddle stretch is a stretch that I use daily – primarily to target tight quadriceps. However this stretch can also help improve ankle mobility and open up the hip flexors.
A result of prolonged periods of sitting, is inactive posterior chain muscles like the glutes and hamstrings that play vital role in movement and exercises.
“The problem is they don’t just turn back on when you want to use or need them.”
What most commonly happens is the muscle groups that are over active, quadriceps (muscles on the front part of your leg) tend to overwork and with overuse comes problems.
Tightness in the quads can travel right up into the hip flexors and start to cause poor posture and back pain.
How To Do The Stretch:
Start by going onto all fours with your hands and knees on the floor. Slowly sit back onto your feet with your toes and the top of your foot flat on the ground. If this position is already challenging, try placing a pillow underneath your butt and on top of our calves to elevate your body a bit. You can even place a small pad or pillow under your knees if there is discomfort.
From a tall sitting up position, slowly lean back and walk your hands behind you. Your weight should be supported by your hands. If you can, go down to your elbows or even lay all the way down.
You will feel the stretch in your ankles, quads, and hip flexors throughout this stretch but remember to breathe and allow your body to relax.
Stay in this position from 1-3 minutes.
Supported Ankle Mobilization
The ankle joint is responsible for not only transferring forces from the ground to the rest of the body, it’s usually the primary connector to how we physically interact with the world.
When it starts to function improperly, the body is forced to compensate which in turn can increase the risk of injury.
One of the most common ankle limitations would have to to be dorsiflexion. (toes towards knees)
Common injuries that can result from poor ankle mobility and compensation include plantar fasciitis, impingement, achilles tendinosis, knee pain, hip pain, and back pain.
It’s important to remember that because movement response in the body starts at the feet, the ankle has the ability to influence how the rest of our body responds. An example can be…
Poor dorsiflexion can prevent full knee extension which can lead to poor hip extension preventing full glute activation.
In the gym, you might see poor ankle mobility primarily affecting squats, jumping, running, and lunging.
How To Do The Stretch:
Start with the ankle you want to mobilize in front of you and the other foot just behind you supporting your stance. Place your hands on the wall or support (squat rack/rig) for stability.
While maintaining your heel on the ground, move your knee forward in a straight line over your foot and past your toe. Hold this position to feel the stretch in your calves and to help range of motion in the ankle. It’s important to keep your knee over your feet as much as possible and not let it shift inwards or outwards.
In that forward knee position hold, slowly shift the leg side to side. Repeat 10-12 reps and remember consistency is key.
Thanks for reading and before you go.
If you haven’t already checked out Reign Fitness or dropped in for a class, I encourage you to take advantage of your FREE Class here. We want to workout with you!
Owner Reign Fitness