Mobility exercises are a crucial element in your workout! They play a role in your ability to move easily and with ample flexibility, which helps to protect your form and movements in just about every type of exercise you do. You’ll find that improving your flexibility goes a long way toward enhancing your overall fitness, and you’ll have a lot easier mobility in every aspect of your day. If you want to be as effective as possible, here are the mobility exercises to do before any workout or training session:
Cat Cow Stretch
Also known as the “Arch and Curl”, this is an amazing stretch for your lower back! Get on your hands and knees. As you breathe in, bring your head as far back as possible and push your stomach toward the floor. On the exhale, bring your head down and arch your back as high as you can. Repeat over and over, feeling that stretch in your spine. You’ll find it does wonders to limber everything up and help your lower back muscles get loose before your training session.
Open Hip Lunge
Also called the “Deep Lunge”, this stretch will help to work your hips and stretch out your hamstrings. Settle into the Runner’s Pose (knee over ankle, back leg nice and straight), then place both hands on the ground inside your front foot. Go as low as you can into that stretch until you feel the tightness in your back, hamstring, glutes, and hips. This stretch will help to loosen up those hips and give you better mobility overall. Repeat for 20 to 30 seconds on both sides to really give the stretch the time it needs to loosen your body up for better mobility.
This classic martial arts stretch can be an amazing option to help you open up your hip muscles and get some better mobility. You’ll find that spending more time in this pose—as uncomfortable as it may be—will do wonders to improve leg motion. Get on all fours, with your shoulders over your hands and your hips over your knees. Slowly slide your knees outward, keeping your hips bent at a 90-degree angle, and move the knees out as far as possible. At the same time, lean your upper body forward onto your forearms. Rock your hips back and forth gently to sink as deep into the stretch as possible. You’ll feel the pull on your hips—that’s how you know you’re doing it right!
This Yoga stretch is one of the most effective to help loosen up the muscles along your back, glutes, hamstrings, and lower legs. Start out on your hands and knees. Place your feet flat on the floor and lift your butt into the air until you’re on only your hands and feet. Push your sit bones into the air as high as possible, really feeling that stretch along your back, glutes, and hamstrings. Take a few deep breaths in this position, come up into Upward Dog, then go back into Downward Dog to repeat. Spend at least 15 to 20 seconds in this pose to really feel the stretch.
Think of this as half-stretch, half-warm-up! Arm circles start your shoulders off with simple rotations, helping to loosen up the joints and warm up the muscles. As you reverse motion, you loosen up the muscles and joints in reverse. As you widen the circles, you expand your range of motion and stretch the muscles in your shoulders and arms even further. Simple, yet highly effective!