Mobility exercises can enhance your life and your work. These exercises are designed to strengthen and improve your ability to move easily. As aging takes place, people lose their mobility. They lose their ability to walk long distances. They lose their ability to perform basic tasks that are necessary for a full life. Most people have an imbalance of strength, mobility and flexibility on one side of their body. It is important to work both sides of the body equally.
Here are eight exercises for mobility that are easy to implement and will improve your quality of life.
1. Thoracic Spine Mobility
Spine mobility is the most important factor in determining how strong and mobile your body can be. Improving thoracic mobility will improve everything in your life. A basic move can be done to improve this area. Start by taking two tennis balls and taping them together. Place the balls under your spine. Start performing crunches with your head returning to the floor after reach repetition.
2. Posterior Hip Mobilization
Hip mobilization will prevent fractures and allow the body to move smoothly. Posterior hip mobilization is an important part of how your body moves for walking and running. Start by getting on your hands and knees. Place a stretch band around your left quad. Move your right foot in front of your left knee and stretch. This movement will improve your hip mobilization the more you do it. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Shoulder Extension
Opening up the shoulder joints is important for everyone. Those that use their shoulders often will benefit from this move even more. It’s simple enough to do daily and frequently during your day. Simply extend your arm, and make a stop signal with your hand. Raise your arm above your head with your palm facing upwards. Do this for both arms.
4. Ankle Dorsiflexion
If your ankles are not mobile enough, your walking gait will suffer. You will also be more prone to injuries in the ankle and leg. Wrap a stretch band around the ankle. Pull the ankle forward with the knee and flex. Repeat this a few times. Switch to your opposite ankle. This will improve your ankle movement and make you a faster and stable runner or power walker.
5. Deep Squats
Deep squats increase mobility in the ankles, knees and hips. This movement is challenging. It is recommended to do it for at least 10 minutes, but not everyone has that kind of strength. If you can’t do 10 minutes, then hold this pose for as long as you can. You will still gain benefits. Balance against a wall and turn your feet outwards. Lower your butt so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle. You can place your palms on your thighs if you prefer.
6. Lazy Stretch
If you don’t want to get out of bed to stretch, this is the perfect move. Place your feet on flat on the wall. Move so your shin and foot are flat against the wall. Arch your back slowly and release. This allows you to fully extend and increase mobility in your hips, knees and ankles.
7. Forward Bend
There’s a reason that the forward bend is constantly used in yoga classes. This simple movement activates the hamstrings. The hamstrings are essential for proper mobility, posture and comfort while going about your daily life. Flexible and strong hamstrings will impact your entire body positively. Stand with your knees relaxed but not bent. Bend forward as far as you can. If you can touch the ground, then that’s great. Hold this pose as long as you can. You will feel the pull behind your legs. That is your hamstrings being stretched.
8. Foam Roller Stretch
This move is easy and can be done by anyone. Grab a foam roller. Place it underneath your back horizontally. Lean your body back. Stretch your arms above your head. You will likely feel your back crack. This move opens up your spine and increases your spine flexibility