Top 5 Mobility Stretches to Improve Mobility
Whether you are looking for post-workout recovery or just need a few quick mobility stretches after spending long hours at a desk, mobility plays a vital role in our everyday lives.
Mobility is essential for movement.
Mobility is the combination of flexibility combined with strength and stability.
If you are not flexible you are likely to get injured when pushed beyond your range of movement, no matter how strong you are.
Equally, being too flexible without strength also increases the risk of injury.
In essence, you need both.
Good mobility reduces the risk of injury, allows us to move more efficiently and pain-free, PLUS for those more athletic, good mobility can enhance our fitness performance and skills, allowing us to gain more strength, more power, more speed and endurance.
Enjoy these 5 simple stretches whenever you need a little bit of mobility support…
Top 5 mobility stretches
1. Shoulder pass-throughs
REPS: 10-20 rotations
Grab a strap, PVC pipe, broom handle, belt, scarf or any item of clothing!
Standing in tadasana, feet hip-distance apart, wrap one end of the strap around one hand, and grab ahold of the other end, taking quite a wide grip so that the strap sits in your hip crease with arms down.
Keeping the ribs pulled down towards your pelvis, and your core braced, take the strap up and over your head, all the way behind until you tap your bu,/lower back. careful not to flare the ribs, take a wider grip if needed – this movement should only come from your shoulders, your back and torso shout remain completely still.
2. Lizard lunge with arm rotation
REPS: 6-8 rotations on both sides
Starting from downward-facing dog pose, step the right foot outside of your hand. Lower the left knee to the flow for a low, more relaxed variation.
- Take a moment to reach the heart forwards, roll the shoulders back and down, eye gaze forwards. Feel the stretch in the left hip flexor (back leg). Take 3-5 breaths.
- Then take a moment or two to feel your range of motion in the right hip (the leg you have stepped forward), circling the knee over the toes in both directions, maybe sinking lower into the groin – suss out any areas of tightness or tension. Take 3-5 breaths.
Finally, let’s add that rotation. Keep the left hand planted on the ground. With the right hand, inhale as you reach up towards the sky and maybe a bit back behind you if mobility allows, taking the eye gaze to the fingertips, feel the stretch across the chest. Exhale to lower the arm back down aiming to tap the right elbow to the floor space inside that right foot. Go as far as mobility allows – don’t worry if you can’t quite get there, with regular practise you will eventually!
3. Low lunge to half splits + twist
REPS: 6-8 reps on both sides
From the downward-facing dog pose, inhale as you step the right foot to the front of the mat inside your right hand. Lower the left knee to the flow for a low, more relaxed variation.
- Reach the heart forwards, roll the shoulders back and down, the chest comes through the arms, eye gaze forwards. Find length in your spine, feel the stretch in the left hip flexor (back leg). Take 3-5 breaths on the first rep.
- Exhale as you pull back in the hip, straightening the right leg, flexing the toes back towards you and stacking the left hip directly above the left knee. Pull up and back into the hip as you reach your nose towards toes to increase the stretch down the back of your leg (hamstrings and calf). Take 3-5 breaths on the first rep.
- Inhale as you reach the right hand up towards the sky, taking the eye gaze to the fingertips, feel the stretch down the outside of your leg (IT Band) and into the hip. Take 3-5 breaths on the first rep.
- Exhale to lower and reset.
Repeat 1 breath per pose, 6 – 8 times on each side.
4. Prone quad stretch
REPS: 6-8 rotations on both sides
Laying in a prone position on your front, come up and support yourself on your left elbow/forearm. Reach back with the right hand to right foot – use a strap if needed, and bring the heel to the glute. Pulse a few times, massaging the quad (the thigh) into the ground, then hold for 5 breaths.
If you are able to/mobility allows, take a flipped grip hold with your hand for a deeper shoulder stretch.
If you are super flexible, then start to take the heel outside of the hip towards the floor for a deeper stretch.
This movement will open up the chest and shoulders, stretch the quads and ankles too.
5. Extended puppy pose
REPS: Hold for 1-2mins
Starting in extended childs pose, sit back on your heels and actively reach the hands forward so that you feel a stretch in the underarms and across your upper back and maybe the chest too. Take 3-5 breaths here.
Step 2, and only move to this stage if you can do this pain-free… lift your bum off your heels slightly, reaching further forwards with the hands, bringing your chin to the floor and look for the front of your mat. Take 3-5 breaths here.
If this is enough for you today stay here.
If you would like to go deeper still, keep reaching forwards, bringing your chest to the floor too, getting deeper into the upper back. Make sure though your hips are stacked on top or behind your knees. The ben and stretch should be in the upper back only, your lower back should remain completely neutral.
Take 10 deep breaths in your final position.
Need help to improve your mobility?
If you are interested in improving your mobility, why now download my free mobility test here.
If you are looking for support to improve mobility, reduce aches and pains, or even to enhance your athletic performance, then get in touch!
I work with a wide variety of people of all different abilities, offering a range of solutions to support every budget and individual goal.
From online yoga and mobility classes to 121 coaching both online and offline, as well as studio group classes and popup events. Get in touch with me today – we can have a quick chat about your current situation, what you are aiming for and I can give you some ideas on how I can help…