mobility-exercises
October 5, 2021

Mobility Exercises; 10 Best, to Up Your Range of Motion

Mobility Exercises are a key factor in achieving your fitness goals is increasing the range of your motion. Flexibility is a key to a variety of movements and exercises. Are you looking for exercises to increase your flexibility? Ten different options are available.

These dynamic stretches are designed to stretch your core and allow you to move freely. You won’t need to stay in one position for long periods. Because our core is so important to our health, many of these exercises are focused on the lower and/or upper backs. The more diverse exercises we can do, the greater our range of motion. Two trainers were asked to share their top flexibility exercises. Read on to learn how you can increase your range of motion.

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Nico Gonzalez is an integrative movement specialist, a master instructor in Balanced Body Education and a master trainer in Vital Online Wellness.
  • Joy Puleo, a PMA–CPT, Balanced-Body Education Program Manager and Pilates expert, is certified.

Safety and Precautions for Mobility Exercises

It is important to balance caution and stretch. Do not overexert yourself in any movement. You may need to start slowly and not complete all moves until you feel comfortable with the movement. Gradually increase your ability to perform larger moves and more stretches. Avoid any exercise that causes pain if you have injuries.

Standing Roll Downs as Mobility Exercises

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Standing tall with your toes and knees in front,
  2. Slowly lower your chin towards your neck.
  3. Keep moving forward by rolling your head, chest and ribs toward the floor. Gonzalez suggests that you “imagine rolling out a towel and keeping it straight toward your legs.” He also points out that your back should be round and your knees shouldn’t lock.
  4. Take 4-8 deep breaths at the point where your knees bend. Then slowly roll up again. Puleo advises that if you feel vulnerable when you return to upright, you should bend your knees and rest your hands on your thighs while you roll up.

Cross Back Side Stretch as Mobility Exercises

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Place one foot in front of the other and stand tall.
  2. To stretch the opposite side, place your foot on the side that you crossed behind. Reach up with your arm overhead and reach for the other side. Gonzalez explains: “As your pull is complete, gently shift your hips to the side to increase the stretch.”
  3. Gently bring your arm back and then you can go on. This should be felt in your hip flexors and lower back.

Puleo suggests that you do this in a doorway. To stretch your whole side, extend your arm overhead and grab onto the doorway.

Rockin’ Figure 4 as Mobility Exercises

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Place your back on a mat or the floor. Your knees should be bent if you extend your legs straight up.
  2. Cross your legs by placing the ankle of one leg on top of the knee of the opposite. Gonzalez claims that this will appear like a crossed, seated leg.
  3. Press your hand into the top leg’s thigh, allowing it to stretch. Next, rock your hips and legs side-to-side. Puleo says that rocking is vital to make the stretch dynamic. It also relieves the lower back.
  4. Release your leg, then repeat the process on the opposite side.

Seated Knee Sways as Mobility Exercises

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. With your legs bent, sit on a mat or the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart on the floor.
  2. Put your hands behind you.
  3. Rock your legs side to side in a rocking motion. Gonzalez suggests that you “press your hands into the ground to prevent your shoulders from shrugging.” Imagine exposing your neck all the time. This will warm your hips and increase the flexibility of your lower back.

Kneeling Thread the Needle

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. You can kneel on a mat or the floor and place your hands on your knees. Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  2. One arm can be released and swung to the side. Keep your abs straight. Gonzalez said it should look like an airplane wing.
  3. As you thread a needle, slide the moving arm under your support arm. Your stable arm is the eye of the needle, while your moving arm is the thread. Your moving shoulder should be close to the floor.
  4. Repeat the motion by extending your arm outwards. As you do this move, your shoulder blades should be loosening.

Kneeling Cobra

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Your arms should be slightly in front of your body. Your knees should reach under your hips. However, your hands should extend several inches beyond your shoulders.
  2. Move your hips forward and you will feel an increase in strength in your hip flexors.
  3. Your chest should be raised and pressed forward. This will allow you to feel an increase in your core and abdominal flexibility.
  4. Keep going, rocking backwards and forwards to loosen your hips, back and torso.

High Kneeling Reach Back

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Lie on your back, kneeling down, and raise your arms up to meet your chest. Gonzalez suggests that you imagine a straight line running from your ears to your side, then keep it straight throughout the movement.
  2. Reach one arm behind you and tuck your head back.
  3. Keep your hips forward by twisting and touching the arm with the foot to the side.
  4. You can return to your original position or switch sides.
  • The move can be used to work a variety of muscles. Puleo suggests that you perform this move best by leaning back. Puleo states that you should feel your front quads lengthen as the hip flexors expand, your torso lengthen and the hips flexors open. The spine lengthens and mobilizes by rotating as you lean back.

Standing Round & Extend

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Keep your hips and shoulders in front of you.
  2. As you bend your knees, wrap your arms around your back. Then lift your arms and round them. Gonzalez says to us, “Imagine hugging the largest tree with your arms wrapped around it.”
  3. Stand up straight and extend your arms behind you. Then lift your torso towards the sky by lifting your arms back. Puleo states that this is a quick and simple stretch that moves your spine between flexion or extension, which can prevent injury in your daily life.

Side Lunge Twist

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Standing straight up with your knees bent and your toes in front, your legs a few inches wider than your hips, and your feet pointing outward. Gonzalez explains that keeping your knees parallel to the ground will help keep them in a safe place throughout the movement.
  2. Lower your torso towards the knee and bend one knee. The other leg should remain stationary. Bend your knee into your knee and reach your opposite arm towards the ceiling.
  3. Slowly get back up and continue to do so.

Kneeling Shoulder Glides Front & Back

JOY PULEO / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

  1. Place your knees on the mat or floor, and place your hands below your shoulders.
  2. By lowering your chest towards the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Press into the area to feel pressure in the upper back.
  3. Place your shoulders backwards and press your hands into the ground with your hands. Your upper back should appear to be extending upward. Gonzalez says to focus on your upper back and shoulder blades, not your spine.
  4. Continue to do this. Puleo claims that this movement will improve your results with chest presses and sit-ups.

You can improve your flexibility and range of motion to help you reach your fitness goals. You can achieve more with your fitness program by performing dynamic exercises that target loosening and stretching muscles. Begin slowly with flexibility exercises. It’s okay to not perform all ranges of motion initially. You should be extra cautious if you have injuries and avoid moves that may cause pain. You can gradually become more flexible and have a wider range of motion. Exercises like these can help you get there.