Poor mobility is an increasing problem throughout the world. For many years, mobility issues have been associated with older age.
In recent studies, however, researchers find that poor mobility is becoming a common concern among younger individuals too.
With the right type of mobility training program, it’s possible to reduce these troubles.
There are different types of exercises that can be used to improve your range of motion.
These may help you gain back your full range of motion, while also improving stability and strength at the same time.
In this post, we take a closer look at the best types of mobility exercises that you can use.
We focus on various parts of your body, which ensures you can achieve a better balance in mobility, strength, and stability.
Shoulder Mobility Exercises
We will start by considering mobility exercises that can help with your shoulders.
With improved shoulder mobility, you will likely find that picking up weights become easier.
With reduced mobility in shoulders, you may experience painful symptoms, stiffness, and also find that it affects movement in your arms.
There are a few different exercises you can try if you wish to improve the mobility in your shoulder. We take a look at some of the more effective options below.
Side Lying Windmill
The Side Lying Windmill is a very effective exercise that can work different areas of your body.
This particular exercise feels more like a stretch, but it still plays a role in helping to enhance mobility.
In addition to mobility, the side lying windmill is also very effective at improving rotation in the glenohumeral external.
This can already help to produce an improved range of motion in the shoulders. It is important to note that the side lying windmill works on more than just this group of muscles.
You may find that the abdominal area is engaged in the process. The activity is also great for targeting the hip flexors.
It is important to avoid a misalignment of the spine when performing the side lying windmill. This is why it is recommended to use a foam roller underneath the bent knee while performing the exercise.
Shoulder Pass Through
Another excellent activity that helps with mobility in the upper body is the shoulder pass through. Just as the name of this activity suggests, the primary goal of this pass through is to focus on the shoulders.
One of the primary factors with the shoulder pass through, particularly when using it for improving your mobility, is that the exercise targets your joints.
In addition to joints, the exercise is great for the muscles that surround the region of your shoulders.
Start this workout with your shoulders wide apart and face forward. Before starting with the movement, make sure to engage your core.
Your arms are placed in front of you. If you have an exercise stick, then use an overhand grip in your starting position. The movement should be done slowly.
When reaching the maximum position, try to hold for a few seconds. While holding the position, you should not experience pain in any area of your body, including the shoulders and lower back.
Hip Mobility Exercises
Your hips play a major part in your body’s overall stability, mobility, and even flexibility.
If you experience problems with mobility in your hips, then everyday tasks can become difficult. This may also restrict your ability to perform certain workouts during a training session.
Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization
While there are several exercises that help with the mobility in your hips, the wall hip flexor mobilization activity tends to be superior. This particular movement uses the wall for support, which can be great to prevent injury.
While the exercise won’t affect your upper back and shoulders, it still remains very useful for the hips, as well as the lower back area.
Different variations of the wall hip flexor mobilization movement exist. It is important to consider your current mobility level.
During this exercise, make sure you face the wall directly, but move away to give yourself sufficient space for your head.
The exercise is quite similar to a lunge in some aspects. One arm is placed against the wall. The other arm is used to pull back your foot when lunging down.
Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Start by moving the left foot forward, while pulling your right foot backward. While keeping the feet shoulder width apart, change your legs and repeat the training.
Back Mobility Exercises
Studies show that back pain remains a primary cause related to disability throughout the entire world.
Whether the upper back or lower back is affected, pain symptoms can make day-to-day tasks feel painful and uncomfortable.
With the right movement options in your training routine, you can effectively improve the mobility of your back.
This provides better support for your joints – particularly the spine in this case. Mobility exercises can also be helpful to target the muscle groups that are situated in your back.
When it comes to working on back mobility, it is crucial that you are careful with the specific exercises you add to your workout routine.
Some exercises can be demanding on your back joints, which may lead to injury, stiffness, and pain in the area.
Lumbar rocks are an activity that is often used in rehabilitation training.
Physiotherapists also rely on this activity. The exercise does not cause a significant engagement of your muscles, but still helps to improve your mobility in the back.
Leg Mobility Exercises
A workout that focuses on mobility should also target your legs.
Leg mobility exercises can be helpful for improving muscles and joint health in the hips as well. With improved mobility in the legs, regular movements become easier.
Your leg muscles will also be able to better support your upper body – which is crucial when performing certain exercises. Most of the leg mobility exercises we introduce you to does not require a gym.
With no gym membership needed, it means you can perform these at home.
The inchworm stretch is actually a multipurpose exercise that’s great for the mobility of joints and muscles in your legs, as well as your hips.
These exercises are also ideal for cases where you want to improve rotation in the hip flexors.
Some people are unable to perform the full stretch at first.
This is usually the case if you have reduced mobility already. In this case, your ability to move your hands down in line with your ankle may be difficult.
As you continue to perform the exercise, it becomes easier o reach your hands toward the ground.
With this move, you will stand up straight. Your hands should be at an overhead position as you move your upper body toward the ground – while bending at your hips.
Try to reach as far down as you can – but do not overexert yourself if you already have pain in your hips or back.
Another activity that is great not only for your legs, but also your hip, is hamstring flossing. Sometimes, this is referred to as nerve flossing hamstring.
There are numerous benefits that these exercises can offer you.
It is relatively simple to perform this workout. Start by laying flat on the floor – with your back to the ground. Keep one leg extended, while stacking your other knee at a position where it comes at an overhead with your hips.
Now, while flexing your ankle, use your hands to keep your leg in a stable position. Try to straighten the knee that is currently in the air – up to the point where you can full a stretch.
If the floor is too hard for you, consider adding a soft padded mat below your body.
This can help to prevent adding excessive pressure to your head and neck, as well as your back.
Leg Swing Exercise
The leg swing is actually quite a versatile activity. It is an excellent option for people who want to improve hip and leg mobility.
The activity is also great for those who want to experience the benefits of a warm up routine.
You don’t need any gym equipment if you want to perform leg swings, making it ideal for people who are looking for mobility workouts they can do at home.
You do need to find some type of support. This can be in the form of a wall or a bar, depending on what is available to you at the moment.
The primary factor here is to ensure you have the ability to hold your balance while performing the exercise.
Keep both feet on the ground. The ankle on each foot should be rooted flat on the floor. Start with one leg – swing the leg outward, while keeping it straight.
There should not be any bending at the knee. Hold the position, then move back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
As you can see, this exercise is very simple, yet highly effective at loosening the muscle groups in your legs.
When swinging out a leg, make sure you watch closely for excessive pulling. If you find that you experience a lot of stress in a specific muscle, then pull back. This also accounts for cases where the swinging motion causes pain in your hip or other parts of the body.
If you have access to a few gym equipment pieces – particularly a dumbbell or another type of weight – then the Buddha squat could be a good movement for you.
This particular movement does require some initial flexibility – but it holds a lot of potential benefits for your body.
There are a couple of variations when looking at the Buddha squat. If you find yourself not flexible enough for the default version, consider trying one of the alternative versions of the squat.
Take note that people with a bad knee should be careful when performing this movement. Take the move slowly at first and work your way up to better muscle strength before attempting a position where your buttocks move close to the ground.
If you are only getting started, considering doing the squat without equipment at first. This helps to minimize your risk of injury.
Apart from the workout options we have focused on thus far, it is also important to include some form of stretching in your routine.
If you want to get started with a mobility workout, these stretches can help to engage various muscles in your body.
Stretching can be great for improving flexibility in a specific muscle group.
By performing stretches, you also gain the ability to target certain muscles – which is great when it comes to creating balance in your body.
Wrist Mobility Broomstick
When working with weights, one particular area of the body that is often stressed is the wrist.
The weight of the dumbbells pushes down on your wrist, which can result in adverse effects – sometimes even injury.
The wrist mobility broomstick is an activity that focuses on your arms, as well as your shoulders. One of the primary areas targeted is the wrist.
Unfortunately, many people overlook the role that wrist mobility and strength play in their day-to-day activities.
With the wrist mobility broomstick drill, you can work on both muscle groups and joints in this area.
This drill generally includes a number of different activities to help improve wrist performance. The specific activities to include:
- Wrist rolls
- Wrist walking
- Prayer stretch
- Broomstick front squat
- Broomstick twists
It is important to note that when it comes to these fitness options, the term “broomstick” refers to the use of an actual stick during the activity.
Some people use a regular broomstick at home, but there are also specific equipment options for those who want to use a more specialized item.
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We consistently rely on range of motion as a way to move freely. When your full range of motion is compromised, movements and exercising can be challenging.
Mobility exercises can be used by anyone to help retain flexibility and stability throughout the body.
This can be useful in cases where a person is already experiencing mobility problems. Those with a good range of motion can still consider these exercises.
The workouts can help to reduce the risk of experiencing mobility issues in the future.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost