3 Easy Exercises That Increase Mobility

A man doing exercises that increase mobility

A man doing exercises that increase mobility | Source: iStock

Mobility and stretching are the most skipped parts of a man’s fitness routine because the extent of its importance is not quite understood. Mobility is defined as “the ability to move freely and easily,” and stretching determines mobility, though there are other factors, such as age that can impact it. Once you delve deeply into a fitness routine, your mobility may take a major hit, especially if you’ve completely left mobility stretches and exercises out of your routine.

If you’ve been training hard and/or have been doing a lot of heavy lifting, you’ve probably found that you suffer from muscle stiffness and reduced range of motion (ROM), making you feel like a living and breathing tin man. According to exercise physiologist, and medical and rehabilitation coordinator for World Health Clubs to Body Building, Dean Somerset, you need some oil to loosen up, and the best way to make you feel more limber is to not only have a well-structured training program, but incorporate mobility work and exercises. Somerset adds that your muscles can generate more metabolic stress and internal tension if you’re utilizing exercises that increase your range of motion. Increasing your ROM, he adds, will allow your joints to recover more effectively when they’re not constantly being worn down from the same positions. The increase of tension and muscular stress will only help in adding more muscle to your body. In other words, it’s a win win.
The following workouts to increase mobility focus on dynamic stretches, which yield much better results than static stretching, which has been linked to lower power output, higher risk of injury, and reduced endurance. Dynamic stretching helps to open the joints and muscles up to their current limits, minus the side effects that come with static stretching. So take your training to the next level by incorporating these 3 mobility exercises into your routine

1. The Simple Five-Way Shoulder

This mobility exercise, courtesy of Muscle for Life, stresses the importance of shoulder mobility, as shoulder problems tend to be one of the most common issues fitness savvy gents run into. Most men encounter shoulder problems from improper form on the Bench and Shoulder Press, though some shoulder problems may be occupationally related. For example, if you sit at a desk all day it can affect your posture and if you’re slumped over for hours at a time, it could really tighten up your neck and shoulders. This particular exercise, courtesy of personal trainer and pioneer of sports performance, Kelly Starrett really helps to loosen the shoulders. While this is just one exercise, there are several others on his YouTube channel and in Muscle for Life that really help to restore limberness and range of motion.

The Simple Five-Way Shoulder exercise is a great way to start with improving overall shoulder flexibility and ROM. Check out the video above on how to properly attack The Simple Five-Way Shoulder mobility exercise.

2. Lunge to Backward Rotation

You can’t forget the legs; they power you through the majority of your workout. They’re the meat and potatoes to it all, if you will. The Lunge to Backward Rotation, courtesy of Body Building, and created by exercise physiologist Dean Somerset, is more of a total body mobility exercise but stresses the lower half. This dynamic mobility stretch will not only help to increase mobility, but build strength simultaneously.

Check out this video on how to properly attack the Lunge to Backward Rotation exercise. Be sure though that when you tackle it to focus on the rotation through the ribs and on keeping your chest as high as possible while you rotate.

3. Ankle Dorsiflexion

Courtesy of Outside Online, the Ankle Dorsiflexion, also created by mobility exercise wizard Kelly Starrett, is just one of several exercises that will not only increase ROM but will ensure your lifelong ability to run, bike, jump, and more, and even go so far as to helping to prevent injury.

Check out the video above on how to properly attack the Ankle Dorsiflexion exercise.  Be sure place the stretching band just above the ankle and step forward with that leg. Move the knee forward and oscillate outward. Make sure to repeat facing the other direction. This exercise is fantastic for ankle flexibility, and can save runners a tremendous amount of energy, as it helps with ROM.

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