May 24, 2018Maximizing 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 your muscles through various ranges of motion, you will be able to access greater strength and power.
Here’s a list of exercises to increase mobility, put together by Venus Lau, N.A.S.M.-C.P.T., Los Angeles-based trainer, movement expert, and contributor to Muscle & Fitness magazine. For each exercise, perform four reps, doing each rep slowly and taking about 30 seconds to complete. Also, try to hold the end ranges for three seconds. In total, the workout should take about 10 minutes.
-Start in a downward dog position with your heels up.
-Tuck the pelvis and shift the body forward, keeping your arms straight.
-Articulate the spine like a wave moving one vertebra at a time. As your shoulders travel past the hands, drop your hips and pull the chest through the arms.
-Squeeze the shoulder blades together as you look to the sky.
-Return to downward dog and repeat.
Shin Box Bridge
-Start seated, with your knees bent 90 degrees and your soles on the floor.
-Straighten your arms, placing your palms on the floor and your fingers facing behind you.
-Using a windshield-wiper motion, shift your legs to the left, bringing both knees to the ground.
Twisted Crescent Lunge
-Start in a high lunge, with your right knee over your right ankle and the left heel over the ball of the foot.
-Reach your arms overhead.
-Twist to the right and open your arms to a T position.
-Hold, continuing to drive to the right.
-Reverse and repeat on the other side.
-Start seated with the soles of your feet and your palms flat on the floor.
-Keep your arms straight, with your shoulders over your palms and your legs shoulder-width apart and knees over ankles.
-Lift your butt off the ground and bring your right hand in front of your eyes, with the fingers in prayer position.
-Lift your hips to the sky, open the left shoulder, and reach the right hand over your 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.