5 Mobility Exercises to Get You Ready for Lower Body Workouts
So it’s leg day. Be honest, are you one of those people who warm up on the bike for 5 minutes, take a sip of their pre-workout drink and then go straight to the weights? If so, let’s have a quick chat.
The truth is, 5 minutes on a bike is not enough. That’s why we created this 10-minute mobility workout as the best way to prepare your body for your leg workout. Warming up isn’t just about getting your heart rate up (although that’s part of it, of course). Mobility training fuels your joints and surrounding structures, and better fueling can boost your recovery. Plus, regular mobility training lets your body work with a greater range of motion—so you can squat deeper, for example. After a while, your technique will improve and there’ll be risk of injury. And all of this only takes 10 minutes of your time. Not a bad deal, right?
Related: If you’ve already done your mobility exercises and you’re ready for a leg workout, you can find a great workout for strong legs here.
You use certain criteria to choose the exercises in your training plan, and the same goes for how you design your mobility routine. You should customize it to your training plan and your body’s needs because we’re all different and we all have different weaknesses. Some of us benefit from investing more time in hip mobility, while others need to pay more attention to their spine. Our short mobility session will mobilize your hips, ankles, and spine.
Boost your cardiovascular system and go for a leisurely 5-minute bike ride. Alternatively, you can do some jumping jacks and high knees, as well as running on the spot.
Then it’s on to the mobility routine. One set per exercise is enough; make sure you warm up your muscles and mobilize your joints, but don’t overload your body. After all, you want to have enough strength left for your actual workout. Do each exercise in the way that feels right for you.
|Pike Walk Around
|Overhead Squat to Pike
|Deep Squat Rotation
|8 each side
|Kneeling Side Lunge
|8 each side
|90/90 Hip Mobility
|8 each side
#1 Pike Walk Around
Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointing slightly outwards. Push your hips back and lean your upper body forward, keeping your legs straight and your neck and spine neutral. Lower your upper body toward the floor and extend your arms out so that you can touch the ground slightly. Now walk your hands to your right foot, pause there for a few seconds, and walk them back to center. Repeat the same on the left side, and alternate.
Remember: If you can’t reach the floor with your hands, simply reach as far as you can and hang there.
#2 Overhead Squat to Pike
Stand with your feet about hip width apart and turn your toes slightly outwards. Push your hips backward and lean your upper body forward towards the floor, keeping your arms and legs outstretched. Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips between your thighs, spreading your knees outwards. Make sure your upper body is upright, keep your back straight and extend your arms upward, keeping your chest wide open. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then reverse the movement by straightening your legs again and leaning your upper body forward toward the floor.
Muscles/Joints: Hamstrings, glutes, ankles, hips, spine
Remember: Place your feet a little wider apart to get deeper into the squat.
#3 Deep Squat Rotation
Start in a deep squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, knees pointing outward, upper body upright and palms pressed together in front of your chest. Put your left hand on the floor in front of you and open your right arm to the right and up overhead. Stretch your arm out and follow it with your gaze. Hold this position for 3 seconds, lower your arm, return to center and repeat the exercise on the other side.
Muscles/Joints: Spine, ankles, hips
Remember: If you cannot move into a deep squat, reasons for this may include a lack of mobility in the ankle joint. Try placing two thin layers under your heels to compensate for this.
#4 Kneeling Side Lunge
Start in a kneeling position, place your right leg out to the side of your body and rotate your hip outward. Your right toes and knee should point outward, while your right heel and left knee should be in a line. Make sure that your back foot is planted firmly. Place your hands on your waist and shift your weight to the right. Your right knee should move over your foot and your hips should stay straight throughout. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then shift your weight back to center. Do all the repetitions on the right side and then repeat on the left.
Muscles/Joints: Hips, ankles, adductors
Remember: To make the exercise more intense, you can hold a light to moderate kettlebell or a dumbbell in both hands.
#5 90/90 Hip Mobility
Sit on the floor and bend your legs, placing your hands behind you and extending your back. Bend your right knee outward and rest it on the floor with your knee forming a 90-degree angle. Keeping your upper body long, rotate toward your right leg— tilting your left knee down and inward. In the final position, both hip bones will be in a line. Hold this position for 3 seconds and return to the center. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Remember: For more intensity in the position, you can lean your upper body forward towards your leg or fold forward completely. Listen to your body.
Finished? Good job! Now there’s nothing standing in the way of your workout. Don’t forget to take a few minutes for a cool-down afterward to get your recovery off to a good start. Learn how to warm up properly here.
More workouts from foodspring:
- The Ultimate Kettlebell Workout for a Stable Core
- Boost Your Booty With Our Workout
- 15 Best Strength Training Moves That Can Help You Build Muscle
Sources for this article
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