Incorporate these simple mobility moves into your routine and you’ll spend less time injured and more time training effectively.
Improved mobility can benefit not only your training, but your day-to-day life. If you’ve ever felt a twinge touching your toes or loading a bag into an overhead locker, some basic hamstring and shoulder work might make all the difference.
Equally, if you’re lifting big, better mobility can help you train injury-free for longer. For starters, give these four moves a go – all of which can be done from the comfort of your own front room.
Concentrate your efforts on the body parts that take the biggest battering from work and play, and you’ll see results fast.
“Upper-back work is essential for basically everyone,” says Jarlo Ilano, managing director at Gold Medal Bodies.
“Everyone is hunched forwards during the hours they spend driving and doing computer work. Ideally you need to counteract that daily.
“Similarly, pretty much everyone needs to work on their hip extension – with all the sitting or slumping on the sofa we do, it’s an area that needs constant work.
“Finally, you should work on hip rotation: again, everyone needs it, and it has direct benefits for squatting and jumping.”
1) Cobra with Back Emphasis
- Get on your stomach with your elbows underneath your shoulders and forearms on the floor.
- Bring your shoulders upwards gently and, when you get used to the stretch, straighten your arms.
- Hold the top position for 20-30 secs.
- Repeat twice.
2) Kneeling Lunge
- Get into a modified lunge position so your back instep and knee are on the floor.
- Shift your hips forward to rock gently.
- To make it harder, bend your back knee and grab your foot – this will stretch your hip flexors.
- Hold for 20-30 secs.
3) Modified Pigeon
- This is modified from the full yoga version, which you don’t need if you haven’t got the flexibility.
- Bring one leg ahead of you with your shin parallel to your body, your back leg bent at a comfortable angle behind you.
- As you get better, work on straightening the back leg.
- Hold for 20-30 secs.
4) Travelling Butterfly
- Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, then put your hands behind you and your weight on your heels, bringing yourself forwards into a butterfly stretch – knees out to the sides.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times.