Do you often find yourself feeling stiff and sore after exercise? Or perhaps everyday activities such as walking, running, and even sitting can leave you feeling achy and immobile? If so, then you’re not alone! Poor mobility and flexibility can limit your ability to move with ease, leaving you feeling stiff and sore.
Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises you can do to improve your mobility and flexibility. From dynamic stretching to foam rolling, these 7 exercises can help you move with grace and agility.
By incorporating these exercises into your regular routine, you can reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the benefits of improved mobility and flexibility. So, if you’re looking for a way to move with ease, then read on for 7 exercises you can do to improve your mobility and flexibility.
What is mobility and flexibility?
Mobility is the ability to move freely and without restriction. Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. Poor mobility and flexibility can limit your ability to perform everyday activities and increase your risk of injury.
Benefits of improved mobility and flexibility
The benefits of improved mobility and flexibility are wide-reaching. This includes Improved athletic performance: Improved mobility and flexibility can help you perform better and reduce your risk of injury.
Better posture: Improving your posture can have a significant impact on your confidence and overall health by reducing back pain and fatigue. Reduced risk of injury: Stiff muscles are more prone to injury and can leave you feeling achy and immobile. Reduced risk of injury can help you stay active and injury free.
Improved mood and mental health: Moving with ease is not just beneficial for your physical health, it can also improve your mood and mental health.
Reduced risk of pain and soreness: Stiff muscles naturally pull other surrounding muscles into their pattern of dysfunction, increasing your risk of pain and soreness. Improved sleep: Sleeping with good posture and reduced pain can help you to sleep better and longer.
With all of the benefits of flexibility and mobility, it’s clear why improved mobility and flexibility are so important! That’s why the first exercise we’re looking at is dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles and improve your mobility and flexibility.
A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that dynamic stretching is more effective than static stretching for increasing flexibility and range of motion. To perform dynamic stretching, start by contracting the muscle you want to stretch for 5 seconds before releasing it.
Next, move the joint through its full range of motion, holding the stretch for 10 seconds at the end of the range. Finally, repeat the entire process 2-3 times. Dynamic stretching is a great way to improve your mobility and flexibility before exercise.
Foam rolling is an excellent way to improve your mobility and flexibility while helping to reduce your risk of injury. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that foam rolling is just as effective as static stretching for improving flexibility.
Additionally, studies show that foam rolling is more effective than massage for increasing range of motion. To perform foam rolling, start by lying on your back with the foam roller placed under your lower back. Slowly roll up and down along the length of your back, gradually moving towards your upper back.
By doing this, you can help relieve tension and pain caused by sitting for long periods of time. If you feel any discomfort, stop immediately. keep going over all areas of your body that could benefit from increased mobility, such as your legs and arms.
Resistance Band Training
Resistance band training is great for improving strength and power, but it can also help to improve your mobility and flexibility. To perform this exercise, start by stretching the band over your foot with your knee bent. Then, lift the knee towards your chest, making sure not to overextend the hip.
Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, gradually increasing the intensity of the exercise over time. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that resistance band training is just as effective as traditional strength training for improving range of motion.
This can help to improve your mobility, joint range of motion, and overall flexibility. Sadly, there are plenty of mobility issues associated with aging, which is why it’s so important to stay active and maintain good mobility throughout your life!
Active Isolated Stretching
Active isolated stretching is a form of stretching that helps to relax tense muscles before performing the actual stretch. This form of stretching helps to improve your mobility and flexibility by targeting specific areas of the body.
To perform active isolated stretching, start by contracting the muscles you want to stretch for 10 seconds. Then, slowly and gently move into the stretch for 10 seconds before relaxing the muscle for 10 seconds. Finally, repeat this process 2-3 times.
A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that active isolated stretching is more effective than regular stretching for improving flexibility. This form of stretching is particularly helpful for improving your mobility around the shoulders and upper back.
If you’re looking for a way to relax and improve your mobility and flexibility, yoga is a great option. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga increases flexibility in the joints and improves mobility.
Additionally, yoga can also help to relax tense muscles and reduce pain. This can be particularly beneficial for people who spend long periods of time sitting. If you’re new to yoga, it’s best to start with a class or online tutorials. You can also read our article on the 7 best yoga poses for flexibility and mobility.
Pilates is an excellent way to improve flexibility and mobility. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who do Pilates regularly are more flexible than people who do not.
Furthermore, this study found that people who do Pilates are just as flexible as people who do yoga! Pilates can improve your mobility by working your core and lower back muscles, which can help to improve your posture.
To perform a basic Pilates exercise, start by lying on a mat with your knees bent and your feet on the mat, keeping your spine in a neutral position. Slowly lift your head, shoulders, and hips off the ground, keeping your back flat throughout the entire movement.
Precautionary measures to take while exercising
If you have a pre-existing injury or health condition, or if you’re unsure which exercises to perform, consult a doctor before starting a new workout routine. To help prevent injuries and tightness, start with low-intensity exercises before gradually increasing the intensity over time. These exercises are best performed after a warm-up, so incorporate them into your cool down routine. Remember to take care of your body and stretch often!
Tips for maintaining improved mobility and flexibility
Don’t forget to stretch after exercise as well! Remember to stretch your muscles before and after exercise to help prevent injury and improve your flexibility. Try to incorporate 2-3 types of stretching into your routine each day to improve your mobility and flexibility.
Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine, and you can look forward to improved mobility and flexibility. Be sure to stretch at least 3 times a week for 15-30 minutes per session.