This mobility routine, based on NFL strength coach Joe DeFranco’s protocol for professional athletes, will keep you supple and strong.

Getting in shape isn’t just about the tonnage you can hoist in the gym.

For starters, how fit are you really if you can bench press an ungodly amount but can’t touch your toes?

Also, consider the muscle-building benefits of greater balance and flexibility.

Both mean you’ll be able to shift more weight through a greater range of motion, which will increase your hormone production and help you build an athlete’s body.

How to do this mobility routine

  • Do the mobility circuit four times a week, either before your regular sessions or as a standalone plan. 
  • As it’s a mobility workout, it won’t tax your muscles too much.
  • Go through all the moves once, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat.

Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK

1a. Rolling saddle stretch

Reps: 8
Rest: Straight into 1b

  • Start in a sitting position with your legs close together.
  • Roll backwards along your spine so you end up with your back on the floor and your legs in the air.
  • Try to get a little forward momentum during each rep, reaching forwards with your arms.

Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK

1b. Squat to stretch

Reps: 8
Rest: Straight into 1c

  • Squat, grab the ends of your toes and stand up while still holding on.
  • You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Release your hold and straighten up, then repeat. 

Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK

1c. Wide mountain climber

Reps: 10 each side
Rest: Straight into 1d

  • Start in a press-up position and bring one leg forwards as far as possible, outside your arm.
  • Move your foot back to the start position, then repeat on the other leg. 

Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK

1d. Groiner

Reps: 10
Rest: Straight into 1e

  • Start in a press-up position and jump your feet forwards to land just outside your hands.
  • Pause for a second, pushing out on your knees with your elbows for a more intense stretch.
  • Jump your feet back to the start to complete one rep. 

Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK Mobility Routine: Do This Circuit Before You Work Out | Men's Fitness UK

1e. Pistol squat

Reps: 5 each side
Rest: 30 secs, then repeat 1a

  • This is the toughest move of the bunch but is excellent for knee and ankle mobility.
  • Stand on one leg and slowly lower yourself into a one-leg squat, going as low as possible and keeping your other foot straight out in front of you.
  • If it’s too tough, hold on to a bench or chair with one hand.

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  3. Why you need to work on mobility (and how to do it)