Easy Daily Exercises to Improve Mobility, a guest post
There is a plethora of benefits that having good mobility has. For one, your daily life can feel much smoother with an increased movement range in joints and muscles. Standing up and sitting down won’t feel as harsh on your joints anymore. You may wake up feeling fresher due to the heightened effects mobility has on the recovery process.
The same applies for those who regularly exercise. It is often said that having body mobility is just as important to your system as achieving any other body-oriented goal, such as lifting a certain weight or being able to run a certain length without getting winded. This is because flexibility helps resist injury by enabling your body to move in extended ranges without being strained.
The exercises listed below are designed to improve the most frequently used parts of your body. The hips, back, knees, and shoulders are often the biggest targets for muscle cramps, joint stiffness, or arthritis so even doing just 5 minutes of these stretches every morning can aid you tremendously.
The lying twist is one of my favorite stretches since it is extremely easy to do. It has you laying flat on your back, making it an excellent first thing to do when you wake up in the morning. The stretch improves back and hip mobility, while also targeting the shoulders.
To start the exercise, lay flat on your back. Slowly and gently, twist your hips so your legs are shifted to just one side of your body, shown in the image above. Hold the pose for at least 15 seconds, making sure to focus on your breathing and releasing the stress built up within your hips and shoulders.
Here are some quick notes for reference:
- Make sure the opposite shoulder (if legs are to the left, the opposite shoulder is the right) is pinned down. This helps you get a full stretch with that shoulder, as well as your hips and back.
- If it feels tight at first, do not push it! Gradually work your way down every day until you are able to reach the proper pose.
- Feel free to add slight variations to the stretch while you are already in the lying position. For instance, you may keep one leg straight and the other crossed over to target individual hamstrings, while also getting a more refined spinal stretch.
The cat stretch is a fairly simple compound stretch exercise. Not only is it easy to do, it targets multiple areas at once, while also providing room for variations should you want to stretch out other areas throughout the pose.
Start off with your hands and knees, with your hips locked in place. Slowly keep your shoulders up and lower your core. Refer to the image above for the proper position. Hold this pose for at least 15 seconds. Try to feel the stretch within your shoulders, upper and lower back, and your hips.
- The pose consists of your head pointing upward to get a better spinal expansion. However, you may slowly move your head around and point it downward to also target the rear and lateral areas of your neck.
- Another variation of the stretch consists of posing the opposite direction. Rather than descending your core, raise it up to reach your shoulders and back.
Knee Mobility Exercises
The knee is a rather hard place to reach for stretching. There also is no single knee exercise that will improve mobility, support the joints, while also being easy to do. For that reason, I will suggest a few ideas.
- Any stretch that targets the quads, hamstrings, or glutes is very likely to also improve flexion in the knee area. One exercise I recommend that reaches all these parts is the squatting flex, pictured below.
- Leg rotating exercises are extremely beneficial for your knees. They consist of bending your legs while standing and slowly moving your knees in a circular motion. This video is a great example.
The whole process takes less than 5 minutes for me each day, and even helps reduce my stress and improve my mood. Doing these simple exercises every morning or night can be an easy way to improve your health. It also drastically reduces injury to your shoulders, back, hips, and knees. If you are dealing with pain in these areas, I highly suggest working on a stretching routine like this one.
This article was written as a guest post by Gary Baker of ActiveAuthorities.com. His mission is to encourage adults to begin or continue their journeys of living more actively and continuously improving their overall wellbeing.