Stretching & Mobility

Five Exercises for Mobility to Help You Move Well

| May 13, 2019 | No Comments

As you age, you may begin to feel more aches and pains and mobility becomes more challenging. Getting a workout in might mean it comes with more soreness. Incorporating joint mobility exercises into your workout can help ease that pain and stiffness and give you better performance and function, inside and outside of the gym.

Why is joint mobility important?

Incorporating joint mobility exercises into your workout helps you move better, and with less pain and stiffness. Here’s how doing exercises for mobility can help your body in various ways:

Prevent injuries

Warming up before a workout and cooling down after a workout are critical to preventing injuries. Tight or stiff muscles around a joint can make it more prone to injury. Supple muscles are less prone to pulls and tears.

Improved performance

Better mobility means better performance. Properly moving the joints around certain muscles can help you better perform exercises that use those muscles.

Less stiffness

Joint mobility exercises help your body recover after a workout. Doing mobility exercises regularly can help ease your everyday aches and pains, and give you more range of motion.

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Here are five simple joint mobility exercises to try. Do these exercises 10-12 times each time you do a workout for better joint mobility.

#1 - Hip Openers

The hips are key contributors to balance and stability. Hip openers are a simple movement you can do that works your hips and glutes, which are a powerhouse for the rest of your body.

How to:

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lift your right leg first. Bring it across your body, then out to the side, and then back on the ground, making a circle with your knee.
  3. Repeat with the left leg.

#2 - Scapular Wall Slides

Keep your shoulders healthy and improve your posture with this simple exercise.

How to:

  1. Stand with your back against a wall with your back and neck elongated.
  2. Raise your arms while resting your forearms vertically against the wall.
  3. Take your arms up overhead, keeping your shoulder blades tight against the wall. Slide arms up until they are straight.
  4. Pull them back down again, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together.

#3 - Sumo Squat

A lower body exercise that you can do anywhere, without any equipment. Sumo squats help mobility around the hip, pelvis, knees, and ankles.

How to:

  1. Place your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes facing outward, 45 degrees.
  2. Lower your hips into a squat position, so your knees go slightly over your toes.
  3. Move your body back up, keeping your shoulders and hips vertically aligned.

#4 - Ankle Mobility

This exercise helps increase ankle mobility, which helps improve balance and decreases the chance of falls.

How to:

  1. Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall for support.
  2. Slowly rock forward onto your toes, coming onto your tiptoes.
  3. Slowly rock back onto your heels, lifting your toes off the ground.

#5 - Foam Rolling

Rolling your muscles after a workout helps ease tension, releases knots, and improves flexibility.

How to:

  1. Grab a foam roller or tennis ball and place it under the muscles you want to massage.
  2. Using your body weight, roll over areas of your body to smooth out the kinks.
  3. When you hit a troubled spot, do shorter back and forth movements to get the knots out.
  4. Use more or less pressure depending on what feels right to you.

Stay active in your golden years by regularly doing joint exercises for mobility. They’ll improve your aging process, in more ways than one.

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Sara M

Sara M

Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.