There are healthy habits that contribute to better quality of life. Brushing your teeth and drinking water are healthy habits you don’t have to think about. Mobility training, on the other hand, may not be something you consciously think about, but it does enhance your overall health. The beauty about mobility training is that you don’t have to carve out a huge chunk of your day to do it. There are simple movements that only require five minutes of your time.
Why Is Mobility Training Beneficial?
If you want to squat lower, jump higher, or achieve more fitness goals, mobility training is necessary. Both mobility and flexibility are two pillars of exercise that many people tend to neglect. Failure to improve mobility can cause you to overcompensate with the wrong muscles while doing anything, be it exercising or standing. This is how you get injured. By increasing mobility, you help to elongate muscles and prevent them from tightening.
A great way to develop more mobility is to start small. The daily five-minute routine in this article is easy to incorporate into your daily life. Dedicate the time to enhance total-body mobility and you may find that you experience less stiffness or joint pain. Stick with this routine and continue to evolve to more complicated movements.
Cat/cow is an excellent way to begin your mobility routine because it helps to warm up the spine and stretch the core. Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your hips stacked over your knees and shoulders over your palms. Arch your back slowly and raise your chin up toward the ceiling. Take a moment to pause here. In a fluid motion, round your upper back, drawing your bellybutton into your spine as you raise your back toward the ceiling. This is one repetition, and you should complete two sets of eight repetitions.
T-Spine Tabletop Twist
This exercise aims to reduce mid-back tightness, which is all too common in the age of hunching over phones and computers. Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your hips stacked over your knees and shoulders over your palms. Bend your right elbow and place your right hand behind your head. Bring the right elbow up and extend it up toward the ceiling as you open the chest to the right side. Return to the starting position, with your right elbow facing the ground. Complete two sets of eight repetitions on each side.
World’s Greatest Stretch
Once you do this stretch, you’ll understand the reason behind the name. This targets the major muscles that hold a lot of tension, from your calves and hips to the chest and back. Start in a high plank and then step your right foot outside your right hand. Keep the left leg extended behind you while your right leg is bent. Rock back and forth on the ball of your left foot to feel the stretch in your left hip and calf. Slowly open your torso to the right side and extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling. Don’t rotate through your shoulders; rather, do it through the spine. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
If you spend most of your day sitting down, this is the stretch for you. It helps elongate your hip flexors to help you avoid back and hip pain. Start in a half-kneeling position, keeping your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle and your right foot flat on the ground. The left knee should be on the ground on a mat or cushion. Engage your glutes and brace your core. Slowly but surely, shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch along the front of your left hip and quad. To deepen the stretch and activate the oblique, reach you left arm up and over to the right side. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Low Squat Mobility Drill
This exercise aims to open your hips while simultaneously improving ankle mobility. Tight ankles tend to limit your range of motion during squats, so this is especially important if you want to increase leg strength. With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down into a deep squat, keeping your back straight. Drive your elbows into your inner thighs and gently rock side to side without lifting your heels off the ground. Do this for 20 seconds and then pause briefly before repeating for another 20 seconds.