January 13, 2021 4 min read

When was the last time you touched your toes?

If you can’t remember then this article is for you!

Because what you’re going to learn can change your life in so many positive ways you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

Sound good?

Ok, then let’s get started!

If your job requires you sit for long periods of time…

…Like driving a truck,

Or being hunched over a desk pounding on a keyboard…

or you’ve been lifting weights for any period of time…

or both!

Then you’ve probably felt stiffness in your shoulders, hips, knees, low back, calves, and ankles...

 Pain points and how to improve mobility

…and that’s because when we are focused on work, or getting big, or losing weight, or any number of other things,we often forget about what’s arguably the most important part of all…

What is it?

Mobility training.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced muscle stiffness

  • Decreased risk of injury

  • Reduced back pain

  • Improved agility

  • Improved strength

  • Better posture

  • Lower stress

Here’s why it’s important…

Not only does mobility training feel great, make you stronger, and more flexible

But it's also one of the keys to overall health, longevity, and improving your training!

Rotational stretch

 

Mobility exercises are an excellent addition to your workout warm-ups…

That’s because they get all your major muscle groups and joints moving through their full range of motion and..

They can also improve the effectiveness of your workout too!

The problem?

Most people don’t think about mobility at all…

and when they do, they say things like ‘I’m not flexible…’

and they talk themselves out of it before they even get started!

But here’s the deal…

Mobility issues are often the source of muscle imbalances which can increase the risk of injury…

And just like everything you do to improve your life, it takes consistency and dedication and the long-term benefits go far beyond the weight room

…Because your body will be more flexible and keep aches and pains at bay.

There are a number of ways you can do it including:

  • Basic stretching

  • Yoga

  • Foam rolling

  • Lacrosse balls

  • Foam blocks

  • Resistance bands

  • Hanging

  • Squat holds

  • Mountain climbers

  • Lateral shuffles

In fact, two of the easiest (and most effective) things you can do to improve your mobility today are:

Passive hanging from a pull-up bar and active squat holds…

 

That’s right…

Passive hanging from a pull-up bar at the bottom of a pull-up position is an easy way to de-load and stretch your shoulders, lats, chest, and biceps and develop your grip strength too...

…and holding an active, deep bodyweight squat is the easiest way to stretch your low back, hips, hamstrings, quads, adductors, and glutes all at once.

So if you don’t have resistance bands, or a foam roller, or lacrosse balls, or a yoga mat…

All you need is a pull-up bar and a place to squat!

And it gets even better?

It can be done a little bit at a time each and every day and you don’t need a gym to do it!

And there’s an easy 3-minute morning routine you can do to get started…

Here’s how to do it…

Right when you get out of bed grab your phone and set a timer for 1 minute...

Step 1: Stand up straight with your shoulders back, your feet in a stable position shoulder-width apart, and bend over at the waist.

  • Start the timer and hang in this position until it goes off.

  • Keep your quads and hamstrings engaged and your legs locked.

  • Try to touch your toes, but if you can’t do that just yet it’s ok!

  • Do what you can where you are.

  • Pull on the back of your legs or grab your ankles for additional leverage and a deeper stretch.

  • A good goal for this stretch is to be able to eventually put your hands palm down flat on the floor.

You can also hold a bar for a deeper stretch:

Deep hamstring stretch using a bar

Step 2: Stand up straight with your shoulders back, widen your feet a bit and pull yourself down into an active squat as deep as you can go, start the timer and hold the position until the timer goes off.

  • Remember this is an active stretch so don’t be lazy!

  • If you can get your elbows to the inside of your knees with your feet flat on the floor then great! Press your elbows against your knees and your knees into your elbows.

  • If you can’t get that deep yet it’s no problem, just do what you can, but only go as deep as you can without your heels coming off the floor.

  • You can hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in the squat for an even deeper stretch.

Goblet squat hold for hip and ankle mobility

Step 3: Grab an overhead bar with your hands in a pull-up position and hang for one minute.

  • If you don’t have a bar to hang from a simple variation you can do is to place your hands flat on your kitchen counter just as wide as you would a pull-up, walk your feet back away from the counter until your body looks like a ‘L’ from the side.

  • Pull your shoulders in towards your spine and press your hands down into the counter. It’s not the same as the decompression you’ll feel from hanging but it’s a damn close second!

Pull-up hang for shoulder and lat mobility

Do this simple routine for 3 minutes every morning...

...and a couple of times on the days you don’t train.

It feels great first thing in the morning and is an incredible way to get some blood flowing.

Within days you will notice a huge difference in the depth of your stretches and your range of motion…

Especially when you lift!

These are just the basics…

...So don’t stop there!

Get out of your comfort zone and try a yoga class

Because the ability to move freely will improve your progress in anything you do, including strength and power.

And your ability to step out of your comfort zone to do something you are afraid of is where your mental growth happens.

And the best part?

Strength improves with mobility…

and your mobility will improve with strength

And don’t worry…

…it’s not a competition.

So if you haven’t included mobility training into your routine before now…

You can start anytime and see incredible benefits quickly!

And remember, consistency is key!


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