5 Best Mobility Exercises To Boost Your Range of Motion After 50
Aging comes with many amazing—and some not-so-welcomed—changes. When speaking of the latter, most individuals experience a decline in their range of motion as they grow older, according to the Arizona Center on Aging. This could be due to a decrease in physical activity, tight muscles, arthritis, or pain. When your range of motion is on the decline, that means you're more susceptible to suffering from falls, which could lead to serious injury. The most beneficial thing you can do for your body and your overall wellness is to stay active and moving. We spoke with Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, who shares with us five of the best mobility exercises you'll want to add to your routine if you're over 50.
According to The Baton Rouge Clinic AMC, a Mayo Clinic Care Network member, "mobility" is essentially how a joint progresses through its typical range of motion. Your hinged knee joint, for instance, is able to move forward and back. It can also move outward and inward a bit.
Yeung explains, "As you age, your muscles get tighter and less limber and your joints tend to feel stiffer, which can lead to pain and injuries. By staying on top of your mobility, you'll feel better, prevent injuries, and enjoy the freedom to do way more physical activities."
So the time is now to take action and increase your range of motion. Keep reading to learn more about these mobility exercises, and next up, don't miss 5 Daily Exercises To Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
1. Bent-Over T-Spine Extension
To perform this first mobility exercise, bend at your knees and hips until your torso's just about parallel to the floor. Your lower back should remain flat as you lengthen your arms out in front of your body, palms facing up. Then, reach back with one of your arms, following that hand with your gaze and feeling a solid stretch in your shoulders and thoracic spine. Repeat this motion with your other arm, and continue switching between arms.
2. Child's Pose Breathing
If you're a yogi, you're likely quite familiar with child's pose. Get into the proper position, rounding the whole length of your spine. Take a dramatic exhale, hold for a second, and then breathe in through your nose. As you inhale, your focus should be on filling your back up with air.
3. Squat to Stand
Begin this next exercise by placing your feet shoulder-width distance apart, hinging your hips back, and grabbing your toes. Push your body down into a squat, making sure to keep your arms straight and your hands on your toes. Raise your hips, then repeat the motion.
4. Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexor stretch will have you placing one knee on the floor, forming 90-degree angles with your knees. Squeeze the glute of the leg that's behind you, hinge your hips forward, and get a deep stretch through your quads and the front of your hips. Alternate sides.
5. Foam Roll
The last of these mobility exercises will require a foam roller for some light foam rolling on your lats, legs, hips, and back. Do this for a few minutes. "This will release those chronically tight and tender muscles, relieve tension, and help you enhance your overall flexibility and mobility," Yeung says.