Mobility the ability of our joints to move freely and comfortably through their full range of motion. Unfortunately, many of us lead sedentary lifestyles, which can lead to joint stiffness and reduced mobility. This is where mobility exercises come in – they help to improve joint mobility, flexibility, and stability. In this article, we will show you the best mobility exercises for each joint. Whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or simply looking to improve your joint health, this article has something for you.
What you will learn in this article:
Mobility, Flexibility and Stability: What’s the difference?
We all know that stiff joints and tight muscles don’t feel great at all. They also limit our ability to move freely and perform well and even negatively affect all the everyday things we do in our lives. So how should you take care of your joint health. Should you mobilize every single joint of your body every day? What about passive stretches and which exercises should you use for that?
Well first of all you need to know that there are 3 major abilities:
- Mobility: the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.
- Flexibility: the ability of a muscle or muscle group to lengthen passively through a range of motion.
- Stability: your bodies’ ability to return to a desired position or trajectory following a disturbance.
So some areas of your body benefit more from stability work, while others rely more on a mix of all three. To get it right we show you in detail which area requires which ability the most and of course which exercises are perfect for that.
Move better, feel better: Try these Mobility Exercises
Incorporating mobility exercises into your fitness routine can lead to numerous benefits, including reduced risk of injury, improved posture, enhanced athletic performance, and improved overall joint health. Anyone can benefit from mobility exercises, regardless of age or fitness level. Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance, someone with a sedentary lifestyle looking to improve your joint health, or simply looking to maintain your mobility as you age, adding mobility exercises to your routine is a smart choice.
Wrist Mobility Exercises
This joint requires good flexibility and stability for most exercises. No matter if you do push ups, handstands or train with weights. The wrist is always under pressure in these movements. So if you want to avoid short or long term injuries you have to prepare them first. Some of the best exercises for this purpose are wrist circles and loaded flexions and extensions. Here you can adjust the pressure step by step over time by increasing the weight you put on them.
Elbow Mobility/Stability Exercises
Many of the muscles of both the upper and lower arm either cross or attach to at least one component of the elbow joint. This makes it no surprise that besides the shoulder, the elbow joint is one of the most affected upper body joints from sports-related injuries. That is the reason why the elbow joint heavily relies on stability in the first place. Here we won’t suggest any specific exercise because most shoulder and wrist related exercises already include your elbow joint. No matter if you do wrist circles, shoulder movements or just support yourself on the ground the elbow joint always works in some way.
Shoulder Mobility Exercises
The shoulder is the most mobile joint of our body and benefits the most from mobility and stability training. Of course this doesn’t mean that flexibility is totally useless. If you got very tight lats and pecs you can benefit from flexibility training as well. Since the shoulder is a very complex joint we got many different exercises for different purposes. Good allrounders are prone arm circles and band resisted exercises in which you work all functions of your shoulder in a complex movement.
When it comes to more specific movements we suggest passive hangs and active prone raises for opening the shoulder. In addition we recommend easy bridges for working on the shoulder extension as well as stick supported movements for the same purpose.
Spine Mobility Exercises
Here we need a mix between mobility and stability. The best exercise for this purpose is the cat cow. It focuses on the most negatively affected part when it comes to mobility, which is the thoracic spine, but also includes extension and flexion for the lumbar and cervical part as well. If the basic cat cow is too easy for you, it’s no problem to modify it a bit. Another good exercise is the quadruped reach because here you also include spinal rotation.
Hip Mobility Exercises
Here we chose the deep squat hip rotation because it’s the best all rounder for this joint. It not only mixes mobility and flexibility it also works on your hip flexion, rotation and extension. If you are a beginner or are not that mobile we suggest to use your hands as a support. This ensures that you can switch between the different positions in a controlled and slow manner.
Knee Mobility/Stability Exercises
Here we got many similarities with the elbow. The knee is the most vulnerable joint of the lower body and you should focus on stability in the first place. We suggest exercises like elevated pistols, bulgarian split squats and lunges as well as balancing on one leg. The goal is to improve your stability by working the muscles of neighbouring joints, In other words the hips and the ankles, while challenging but not overstressing your knees.
Ankle Mobility Exercises
Similar to the wrist we have to focus on flexibility and stability in the first place. Most people got problems with the ankle flexion which directly transfers to their squat ability. The best exercises to work on this weak point are done in a lunge position. Here you can also work on your eversion and inversion as well. You can do this exercise on the ground but also in an elevated position on a bench as long as you make sure that your heel does not lift off.
Another great way to work on your ankle mobility are prying goblet squats in which you shift your weight to different directions. We suggest a circling motion to target your ankles optimally. The additional weight is necessary to counterbalance your body weight due to the immobility of your ankles. It also helps you to increase your range of motion when doing your mobility work. If you have no additional weights you can do a deep squat while holding yourself on to an object.
How to structure your Mobility Routine
In general we suggest you the same approach we use in our mobility program. Start with only 2-3 days a week and if that feels good for you, you can ramp up the volume to 4, 5 or even 6 days a week. We also suggest to start with around 30 seconds per exercise with 3 sets and increase the volume over time.
Please keep in mind that mobility, flexibility and even stability work is not the same as training for strength or building muscle. If you don’t include extreme long lasting passive stretches you can do mobility training nearly every day. It’s not only good to improve your mobility and posture it can even help you to recover from hard strength training sessions, work against imbalances and make your body nearly bullet proof against injuries.
All exercises in this article can also be found in our mobility program. Instead of strict sets we combined these and many other exercises to a mobility flow system. This not only saves time, it’s also way more fun, highly effective and doesn’t get boring too quickly. If you like this video and our approach just head over to calimove.com and get your mobility program right now.
Whatch our Mobility Routine
Follow us for more free routines!
You must log in to post a comment.