Mobility is the ability of a joint to move in a functionally adequate range of motion. It is the foundation of movement ability because it allows your body to be comfortable in stable positions. Mobility is the opposite of the stiffness, tightness and restriction that many of us experience everyday. I have noticed several lower body “hot spots” in SAC members lately. Ankles, knees, hips and even upper backs (thoracic spine) are commonly tight which leads to difficulty in squats, jumping and sports. Many people assume that these malevolent joints are caused by muscles being too short but mobility is actually much more complicated. Mobility is in part determined by nervous system control of all the tissues surrounding a joint which means that increasing mobility at a joint really depends on changing the neuromuscular system. The bad news: this means that passive stretching will probably not make a long lasting improvement. The good news: using smarter mobility exercises can help you overcome immobility in as soon as 2-4 weeks of consistent practice. Genuine Movement is a program that teaches great movement ability in a semi-guided format. Here are some Genuine Movement mobility drills to get you moving naturally and spontaneously. Please contact Hunter Spencer at Hspencer@sacdt.com with questions or for more information about Genuine Movement.
½ Kneeling Stretch
- Targets: Ankle, knee hip
- Lean forward until you feel a moderate stretch in the thigh or calf
- Return to starting position. Repeat.
- Oscillate continuously for 10 reps
- 2 x 10
- Lying on your side with top knee pressing into the support
- Keep knee above hip level
- Rotate shoulders away from bent knee
- Hold 3-5 seconds and return to starting position
- 2 x 6
- Targets: Ankles, knees, hips, upper back
- Use small silver box
- Start with arms overhead
- Bend down and touch box with straight legs
- Continue pressing into the box as you drop your hips down into a deep squat
- Lift one arm and look at your hand, hold 10 seconds
- Switch sides and repeat
- Lift both arms overhead and return to starting position
- 3 x 6
Please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Hunter Spencer with your questions.