Improve your Mobility: Tips & Exercises

One of the most overlooked areas of fitness is mobility. By definition, mobility means the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Mobility work is more than just stretching. Think of it as stretching with a purpose. We hold positions, but we also use movement to help us open up the body where there might be tight muscles, areas of restriction, lack of full range of motion. Over time if we work at it, the body will open up and move better.

One of the most common things I see in personal training is the lack of mobility people have in certain areas of their bodies (most commonly their shoulders and hips). This lack of mobility hinders the ability to move properly, makes movements more challenging and prevents us from progressing.

Why Improving Mobility is Beneficial

Improving mobility will not only allow you to move better but enables your body to move through full range of motion. This will, in turn, increase power output and allows the body to move more efficiently and effectively. Improved mobility can help resolve pain, improve performance, speed up recovery, and prevent injury. Improving mobility can help you feel better, both during and after your workouts.

Mobility work is important and should be incorporated into your daily and weekly routines. We push ourselves in the gym, but often overlook doing things to help us properly recover and prepare for future workouts. We overlook this important aspect, and it could be a major reason we are not able to advance past a certain point.

Ways to improve and incorporate mobility

  • Spend 5-15 minutes daily on mobility work
  • Hold positions for 1-5 minutes, this can be broken up into smaller sets that allow us to accumulate more time and allow the body to open up and adapt
  • Test and retest positions to see if improvement is being made
  • Put your body into positions that mimic the movement patterns we want to improve
  • Using props or tools that allow us to get into these position can be helpful (E.g- Using a pole to help us remain more upright in the bottom of a squat position)
  • Remember to never force positions and avoid anything that causes pain
  • Be consistent and be patient. Like anything, improving mobility takes time. Allow your body to adjust and it will pay big dividends in your performance and how you feel in and outside of the gym!

My Secret to Mobilizing

One way I have been successful with incorporating mobility work into my busy schedule is spending 15 minutes every night before I go to sleep while watching TV. It has allowed me to be more consistent since I often times do not have enough time to do it after my workouts.

Examples of Mobility Exercises

  • Squat Hold using elbows to push knees out and open up hips (2-4 sets holding for 1 minute in bottom position) (Works: Hips/Hamstrings/Quads/Ankles)
  • Deep Lunge (Keep Chest High Drive hip towards floor and squeeze glutes) Hold for 1-2 minutes per side (Works:Hips/Hamstrings/Quads)
  • Lizard Pose (In deep lunge position bring chest towards ground and try to put forearms on ground for support) Hold for 1-2 minutes per side (Works: Hips/Hamstrings/Back) **Personal Favorite!!
  • Thoracic Rotations (Keeping feet and hips pointed forward, cross arms across chest and slowly rotate torso pause and repeat opposite direction) 2-3 Sets 5 rotations each direction (Works: Thoracic region)
  • Archer Pose (Standing Upright, Bring right arm above head and reach down back bring left arm down side and then up back trying to grab hands. You can use a band or towel to assist you with this one) Do both sides for 1 minute each. (Works:Shoulders/Back)

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Tom P

Since joining Performance, I have made huge gains. The process of recovering from knee surgery has been much easier because of the expertise of the Performance staff in helping me get back to full strength. I would recommend this gym to anyone.*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Kim C

Performance Fitness Member

“I joined Performance and it has changed my life. Gone are the days when I dreaded trying on clothes at the store, Thanks to Performance, I feel like a super fit mom.”*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Seth D

Performance Fitness Member

Under the guidance of trainers, I have been able to decrease my 5K time from 28 minutes to under 20 minutes in just 2 years.  I have also lost 30 pounds while increasing strength, endurance and power.*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Connie R

Training over the last few years at Performance has been the best health decision I have ever made.  Leslie, my current trainer, keeps me on track to stay fit and strong, makes our sessions interesting and challenging, and is always positive, even when I have setbacks.*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Barry C Testimonial
Barry C

Performance Fitness Member

“I am a competitive cyclist and have been in personal training at Performance for 6 years. The best part about the trainers is that they know our medical histories very well.  Leslie is great at modifying a training session specifically to each individual person’s limitations so as to avoid injury.”*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

Pat S

Performance Fitness Member

“I’m retired and enjoy a full, active life. This is due, in no small part, to the time I spend at Performance. The group classes provide a great workout and lots of variety. Plus, a fun way to meet new friends!”*

About Jordan Leazer, CPT

Jordan Leazer, CPTJordan has been active his entire life playing as many sports as possible growing up. Exercise changed his life for the better and he wanted to become a personal trainer to help others. He loves seeing progress in clients and challenging them to continue to improve.

*Results may vary