Simple mobility is a really important aspect of being healthy – but it is an area often neglected in a regular exercise routine.
I am definitely guilty of not giving mobility exercises the attention they deserve – and I 100% feel the benefits when I do! I would be the first to admit that it is often not until I have a stiff back that I realise I should incorporate a bit of mobility into my routine!
A full range of motion
Maintaining a full range of motion is important for so many reasons. Firstly, good mobility decreases your chance of injury. Any restricted movement in a joint can cause dysfunction, which in turn could lead to injury.
Having good mobility also gives us the potential to become stronger in the full range of motion. For example, if you have limited mobility within a squat, you will become strong but only within that limited motion, rather than in the full range of movement.
Working on good mobility first will then allow you to train and strengthen through all phases of the squat.
Quick and efficient
The beauty of mobility exercises is that they are
time efficient and easy to do. Even as little as 5-10 minutes per day can be massively beneficial, and will be enough to see real progress. Plus mobility exercises can be done almost anywhere – most can be done using just bodyweight or minimal equipment.
One of my favourite mobility exercises is known as a spinal roll down (see video left), which I find massively beneficial for my back. Not only does it release tension but it also increases mobility in the back, neck and legs and leaves you feeling inches taller (which is always a bonus when you feel a little vertically challenged!). Spinal roll down is an easy exercise – simply rolling down, vertebrae by vertebrae, letting the head and arms hang.
Another great exercise is known as the cat/cow (see video above) which helps relieve stiffness in the hip, back, shoulders and neck. This is performed on all fours, moving the spine from an arched position, lowering the belly button toward the ground, to rounding the back toward the ceiling.
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