Jun 1, 2018
Maximizing Muscle Mobility

Increasing mobility requires more than just stretching or foam rolling. While these passive exercises are definitely helpful for keeping muscles healthy and flexible, active work is also required. By completing challenging exercises that put muscles through various ranges of motion, athletes will be able to access greater strength and power.

Here’s a list of exercises to increase mobility, put together by Venus Lau, NASM-CPT, a Los Angeles-based trainer, movement expert, and contributor to Muscle & Fitness magazine. For each exercise, Lau recommends to perform four reps, doing each rep slowly and taking about 30 seconds to complete. Also, have athletes try to hold the end ranges for three seconds. In total, the workout should take about 10 minutes.

Wave Unload

-Start in a downward dog position with heels up.

-Tuck the pelvis and shift the body forward, keeping arms straight.

-Articulate the spine like a wave moving one vertebra at a time. As the shoulders travel past the hands, drop the hips and pull the chest through the arms.

-Squeeze the shoulder blades together while looking to the sky.

-Return to downward dog and repeat.

Shin Box Bridge

-Start seated, with knees bent 90 degrees and soles on the floor.

-Straighten the arms, placing the palms on the floor and the fingers facing back.

-Using a windshield-wiper motion, shift the legs to the left, bringing both knees to the ground.

Twisted Crescent Lunge

-Start in a high lunge, with the right knee over the right ankle and the left heel over the ball of the foot.

-Reach both arms overhead.

-Twist to the right and open the arms to a T position.

-Hold, continuing to drive to the right.

-Reverse and repeat on the other side.

Crab Reach

-Start seated with the soles of the feet and the palms flat on the floor.

-Keep the arms straight, with the shoulders over the palms and the legs shoulder-width apart and knees over ankles.

-Lift the butt off the ground and bring the right hand in front of the eyes, with the fingers in prayer position.

-Lift the hips to the sky, open the left shoulder, and reach the right hand over the body toward the left hand.

-Return and repeat on the other side.

Adding these exercises to an athlete’s training routine will help them increase muscle mobility and range of motion, both of which are essential aspects of athletic performance. This will also help them make even greater gains in the weightroom. An athlete’s muscles can become tight and less flexible from training and competing, making these types of mobility exercises very useful for both performance and injury prevention.

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