Better Flexibility: 8 Fantastic Exercises to Increase Range of Motion
There are over 600 muscles in your body that help you as you move through life. If you don’t work on your muscles, they can feel stiff and are prone to injury.
Anyone, regardless of athletic ability, can benefit from more flexibility. The more flexible you are, the better you’ll move around.
One way to increase flexibility is by doing stretches that aim to improve your mobility. Mobility is the amount of motion your joints and muscles have. The greater your range of motion, the more flexible you will be.
We cover the best stretches for mobility so you can limber up and get ready for a great workout.
Why is Range of Motion Important
A range of motion is how far you can move a specific body part. Often, range of motion refers to the movement of your joints and muscles. Although everyone’s range of motion is different, there is an average level of range.
When you add flexibility exercises to your routine, you can help increase your range of motion. A better range of motion is also helpful with daily tasks like walking up stairs. Although many muscles are in your body, you can do a few great exercises to target common areas.
1. Standing Roll Downs
This simple exercise will activate your abs and stretch your back. It’s also great to help improve your posture.
Stand tall with your knees and toes pointing forward. Tuck your chin and roll your head toward your chest until you end with your head near your feet. Keep your back rounded and your knees loose as you do this exercise.
Slowly roll back up, pausing at the point just before your knees bend. You’ll finish the exercise when you are standing back up.
2. Side Neck Stretch
A stiff neck is a common problem that people can suffer from. The great news is that you can do a few mobility exercises to help.
Sit in a comfortable position. Using your right hand, bring it up to your left ear.
Pull your head gently down toward the right shoulder. As you do this, reach your other hand down towards the floor.
Move your chin down by your chest and back up so that it ends on the right side of your body. Let your head return to the center and repeat the stretch on the other side.
3. Glute Bridge
This exercise is a great option for opening up your hips. It will help the mobility of your spine and improve the strength of your core and glutes.
Start by laying down on a yoga mat. Keep your legs bent with your knees over your ankles.
Push your lower back towards to floor and lift up. Keep your core engaged as you do this. Once your glutes are entirely off the ground, lower them back to the mat.
4. Tiptoe Walk
If you are looking for a simple way to boost your ankle and foot mobility, this exercise is for you. The tiptoe walk is also great for warming your arches up before a workout.
Get up high on your toes like you have a pair of invisible high heels on. In the position, walk across the mat in a back and forth pattern.
5. Cross Back Side Stretch
Stand straight and cross one foot behind the other foot. Reach up with one arm on the side with the crossed foot and grab your opposite hand above your head. Slowly stretch towards the opposite side of your body.
To deepen the stretch even more, move your hips to the side as you stretch. Move your arm back up above your head and repeat the stretch on the other side. This stretch will loosen up your hip flexors and lower back.
You can try performing this stretch using a door. As you stretch your arms over your head, When you stretch your arm up overhead, and grab onto the frame. Rotate your whole body toward the frame to get an additional stretch through your entire side.
6. Seated Knee Sways
You’ll do this exercise on a floor or yoga mat. Start in a seated position with your legs slightly bent. Make sure that your ankles are about hip-width apart.
Put your hands on the floor behind you. Rock your legs from side to side. Press your palms to the floor to keep your shoulders from shrugging up. This exercise helps to open up your hips and gives you more flexibility in your lower back.
7. Bottom-up Squat
Loosen your lower body up and your shoulders with this exercise.
Stand on the floor with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Outstretch your arms up straight. Bend at the waist and stretch toward your toes.
Move into a squat, hold the position, then move your arms back in the air. Lift your body back so that you are standing up.
8. Thread the Needle
If you want to open up your upper body, a thread the needle exercise will do the trick.
You’ll start this exercise on the floor on a mat. Get yourself into a tabletop pose with your hands and knees on the ground.
Take your right hand and point it toward your ceiling to open up your chest area. Breathe in and as you let your breath go, move your outstretched arm to twist under your body.
On the inhale, move the same arm back up toward the sky. Repeat on the other side.
Keep Your Body Feeling Great With Range of Motion Exercises
When your range of motion increases, you’ll help keep your body strong. Incorporating some of these exercises into your life will help you get the most out of your workouts.
If you want help as you work on your range of motion, Fitness CF Gyms is here for you! Try us free today to see how we can help you today!