The 5 Best Mobility Stretches To Get Your Body Moving
Let's be truthful: We all have days when we feel like doing absolutely nothing. Even the most dedicated exercise enthusiasts have mornings when they simply want to roll over in their comfy beds and not even think about working out. We're here to fix that with the best mobility stretches to get moving on lazy days, because you've worked much too hard to get off track!
For the absolute greatest picks, Eat This, Not That! reached out to Tony Horton, celebrity fitness trainer and founder of PowerLife who shares his top-recommended mobility exercises to wake your body up for the day. Keep these moves on hand for the days you need extreme motivation, and anytime in between! And for more fitness inspiration, check out The Best Exercises To Regain Balance After 60, Trainer Says next.
The benefits of mobility stretches are too good to pass on.
Why did we choose mobility stretches? Well, keeping your mobility up to par is so important. According to Men's Journal, mobility is all about strength and flexibility. Engaging in mobility exercises can help enhance your posture, prevent injuries and knots, reduce deterioration of your joints, boost your range of motion, sculpt stronger muscles, and relieve any tension that comes with a sedentary lifestyle, the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association reports.
Look at mobility stretches as general upkeep! A solid routine of a mobility workout will help you feel your absolute best and increase your physical agility at the gym and in your day-to-day life. So instead of rolling over in bed and curling up under the covers the next time you're feeling lazy, give your body some goodness with five of the finest mobility stretches.
For the inchworm, you will bend your body forward until both hands are able to touch the floor. Then, walk your hands away from your feet to form a high plank. Once there, count to four to remain in this position. Walk toward your hands, and get back slowly to a standing position. Repeat this move for eight to 10 reps total.
Horton tells us, "This is a great stretch for the entire posterior chain (or, your lower body) and it's an effective stabilization move for the shoulder/rotator cuff area."
Lunge with Overhead Extension
Next up is a lunge with an overhead extension. You'll get started in a standing position. Take a giant step forward so that your legs form a deep lunge. Hover your standing knee just a bit off the floor. Reach your opposite arm toward the ceiling, and lunge forward to form a solid stretch in the hip/hip flexor. Be careful not to extend your arm to the back of your head, as it can cause pain. Your arm should only extend back to align with your ear.
Horton recommends completing six reps on either side and adds, "I love this move for mobility because it targets the hips and spine simultaneously."
Downward Dog to Cobra
Begin the downward dog to cobra in a high plank. Push your hips up so that your body forms a "V" shape. Release any neck tension by hanging your head naturally. One by one, you're going to pedal your heels down toward the ground to give yourself a solid calf stretch. Gradually lower your hipbones until they reach the ground, along with the tops of your feet and your thighs, as you bring your chest up to come into the cobra position.
"This move promotes thoracic extension, allowing for a gentle stretch of the spine," says Horton.
For this exercise, you'll lie flat on your belly, placing both arms out straight on each side of your torso, forming a "T" shape for the super scorpion. Lift up one of your legs while bending at the knee. Then, lead with your knee to gradually rotate your hip. Aim to bring your toes all the way to your glutes, and if possible, aim to bring your toe to the floor next to the opposite hand.
Horton suggests, "For a variation of this, what I call the 'Super Scorpion,' when you slide one hand in toward your shoulder (out of the 'T') to push and twist your body further to get an even greater stretch in the opposite arm, pec, and shoulder. This move requires a spinal rotation and stretches the hips, both of which contribute to mobility."
The runner's lunge starts in a plank. Then, put your right foot just outside of your right hand. Next, do a deep lunge, and remain in this position for a second. Switch sides, and repeat with opposite legs for a total of six reps.
"The runner's lunge strengthens the hip flexors and hamstrings, both of which are key areas to target for increasing mobility in the lower body," Horton points out.