How many of us live our daily lives with stiffness, aches and pains?
Do you have stiffness in certain areas and avoid exercising because of this?
Mobility for me is very important and I didn’t realise this until my late twenties. I had played impact sports for years on end, between after school sports and club sports resulting in nearly 3-4 hours of sport every day. There was never a lot of emphasis put on warming up and cooling down correctly.
After many years of the same sporting routine and playing a high level of basketball, I suffered from many ankle, hip and calf injuries combined with terrible flexibility. Then came the day when I was advised to start stretching regularly to try and strengthen all of this. Since then, my flexibility has never been better and a lot of the aches and pains I used to endure are now a distant memory. I succeeded by giving these simple exercises a chance and witnessed incredible results.
I spent three years living in China getting to see their way of life and soaking up their traditional culture. During my time there, one thing that stood out and amazed me was the emphasis they put on stretching and staying mobile from a youthful age up to elderly people who were 70-80 years old. Be it doing Tai Chi in the morning, traditional Chinese dancing in the evening, or simply having a daytime stroll whilst swinging their arms. They were always out and enjoying moving. Not only could you see how it affected their bodies in a positive way, but they always had a smile on their face and looked to be in good spirits.
Working on ones’ mobility is a hugely missed area when exercising. Mobility is the ability to move freely and easily and stretching is a key way to help achieve this. By working on your mobility, you will expose yourself to a lot of hidden potential within your body and in turn, this will have a positive affect on your mood and emotions.
By incorporating mobility training into your sessions, you can consistently expand the range of movement within your joints. By working on mobility, you will help to prevent injuries and in turn improve your levels of strength.
There can be various reasons why our mobility is bad; sedentary lifestyle, bad posture, previous injuries and in general being uneducated on how to stretch properly. Let’s gain back control of our bodies and move in ways you thought you never could.
There can be many added factors to gaining mobility. Practice, knowledge, discipline, time, patience, healthy options with diet and alcohol.
There are exercises to help isolate certain areas and over time you can strengthen these areas. Here are some basic mobility exercises that will help you to move more fluidly and exercise more comfortably.
Working on tight hips. Follow the steps below to mobilise the hips.
- This exercise is for the internal rotation of the hip.
- Begin by sitting on the floor with the knees bents up and feet under them on the floor, keeping your legs apart, turn one leg inward touching the knee to the ground. Keeping your hands on the ground for support behind the back.
- Try 10 reps for 3 sets
External rotations exercise.
- Lie on your side propped up on one arm holding a dumbbell in the other hand with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and your forearm across your mid-section
- Raise the dumbbell up and away from your body, rotating at the shoulder and keeping your upper arm against your side
- Breath out when lifting the weight. (depending on the tightness of the shoulders use a lighter weight)
Lower trunk rotations
- Lie on your back with knees bent, your feet raised and your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
- Roll your legs to one side, lowering your knees to the floor
- Roll your legs to the opposite side, keeping your knees bent and your upper body stable throughout
- Lie on your side with your arms together on the floor in front at shoulder height
- Raise one arm straight up to a 90-degree angle and look up at your hand
- Lower this arm straight down to the floor at the other side
- Return this arm back to the start position
- Perform on one side then switch sides to the other side. Alternate sides with each rep.
For beginners try the above four exercises. These can be done 3 to 4 times a week.
At Bodyscene we primarily focus on how each person’s body moves. From the initial consultation we evaluate each client’s posture and flexibility. We then plan the workouts to improve any areas that need attention.