We beat ourselves up all the time working out. The progressive overload is how we get stronger, faster, and more powerful. That being said, do you move properly through these exercises and are you doing what it takes to maintain your body? One aspect of training that people don’t always focus on is mobility. If you’re working out and can’t control your body through movements, then you are already at a disadvantage. Mobility training is key to any good strength and conditioning program.
Mobility in short, is the body’s ability to actively move through full range of motion at a joint while maintaining full control. Mobility is key to staying healthy whether you’re the average Joe or an elite athlete. If we can’t move through a joints full range of motion freely, we are at a risk when loading it with weights, or even at a disadvantage in sport performance. If moving is difficult, we have to fix the issue first before we can truly get stronger through such movement patterns. By performing mobility drills we are maintaining the range of motion in our joints and the strength to actively move through our full range of motion freely. This will then in turn allow us to build proper strength in our lifts. Additionally mobility drills can help to reduce every day pains, improve posture, and even help individuals to become more aware of their body and how it should move from head to toe.
Listed below are a few of my favorite mobility drills. The drills listed here are mainly for hip and shoulder mobility.
- Lie on one side of the body with the top leg resting at 90° on any ball, foam roll, etc.
- Slowly move the top arm in a circular motion like a windmill along the floor. Make sure to follow the hand with the eyes. If you’re unable to keep the hand on the floor, allow the hand to come off the floor naturally.
- If your left arm is on top, move the arm through a clockwise motion.
- If your right arm is on top, move the arm through a counter clockwise motion.
- Perform a set of 10 reps each side.
BACK TO WALL SHOULDER FLEXION
- Stand with the back flat against the wall, chin tucked, and the hands down by the side.
- Slowly raise the arms up bringing the thumbs to the wall and return back to sides.
- Foot position is determined by the individual being able to keep the entire back flat against the wall.
- Perform a set of 10 reps.
- Start in a staggered stance with the front foot a couple inches from the wall and forearms at 90° against the wall.
- Slowly slide the arms up the wall at an angle. Once at the top position, bring the shoulder blades back.
- Return arms back to the wall and slide back to the starting position.
- Perform a set of 10 reps.
SUPINE LEG WHIP
- Lie on your back slowly raising one leg in the air stopping perpendicular to the floor.
- Slowly lower the raised leg straight to the side until you feel a comfortable stretch in the hip.
- Return leg back to the starting position.
- Perform a set of 10 each side.
KNEELING HIP FLEXION
- Start in a kneeling position with one foot a couple inches from the wall.
- Grab the foot of the knelt leg and slowly rock forward bringing the front knee towards the wall.
- Then return to the starting position.
Mobility training does not have to take more than 5-10 minutes to perform. This is a brief explanation for some of the benefits of these drills, as well as a few of my favorite drills to perform. Scheduling a monthly massage, mixing in a yoga class, and foam rolling are a few things that can definitely help the body stay moving properly as well. Give these drills a try before or after your next training session.