MOVEMENT – Move This

Doc Jen’s Nine Essential Moves to Increase Mobility

By 24Life

Mobility is the ability of a muscle or joint to move freely and easily through the entirety of its range of motion. For many of us, whether we realize it or not, mobility is a major issue. We sit at our desks for eight (or more) hours a day, hunched over a screen, stressed out and exhausted. Then we drag our bodies to the gym and put them through taxing weight lifting routines—oftentimes without properly giving our muscles and joins the warmup needed to perform well.

Jen Esquer, DPT, physical therapist and creator of Doc Jen Fit, is a master of mobility. (Don’t believe us? Check out her flow here.) Below, she shared her nine essential movements to add to your routine to increase mobility and better prepare your body for the demands of every workout, and everyday life.

Nine moves for mobility

Seated Big Toe Stretch

  • Begin kneeling sitting on your heels.
  • Come up onto your knees to tuck your toes on the ground. Sit back on your heels to feel the stretch.

Supine Hamstring Glides

  • Begin lying in a supine position, legs extended.
  • Bend your right knee and bring it over your right hip. Hold behind your right thigh.
  • Straighten your leg to bring your right foot to the ceiling as you flex your foot to point your toes toward you.
  • Release and repeat, then switch sides.

Hip 90/90 Stretch

  • Begin seated with one knee bent at a 90 degree angle in front of you, and the other bent at a 90 degree angle behind you.
  • Keep your spine long as you hinge forward for a stretch.
  • Sit back up and twist through your torso opposite of your front leg to bring your hand around behind you.
  • Repeat, then switch sides.

Adductor Rock Backs

  • Begin in a prone position with hands on the floor directly under shoulders, and your right knee on the floor.
  • Extend your left leg out laterally and place it flat on the floor.
  • Sit your hips back toward your heels slowly until you feel a stretch in your inner thigh.
  • Rock back and forth a few times, holding the stretch for a beat each time.
  • Switch legs.

Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Begin in a half-kneeling position with your right knee bent in front of you and your left knee on the ground under your hip.
  • Tuck your pelvis forward, and lift your left hand to the ceiling. Place your right hand inside your right front knee.
  • Reach your top hand to the right to feel a stretch through your left side body.
  • Release and repeat, then switch sides.

Side-Lying Open Book Stretch

  • Begin lying on your side. Bend your top leg so your knee is at 90 degrees in front of your hip.
  • Reach your top arm out in front of you, then rotate through your torso to bring it behind you. Follow it with your eyes and head.
  • Come back to close, and repeat. Switch sides.

Prone Pec Stretch

  • Begin lying on your stomach in a prone position.
  • Place your left hand next to your chest on the floor, and stretch your right arm up at a 45 degree angle with your hand on the ground.
  • Bring your left leg up and around, twisting through your torso, and place your left foot on the ground outside your right hip.
  • Return your leg to start. Repeat and then switch sides.

Kneeling Thoracic Cat-Cow

  • Begin in a kneeling position, sitting back on your heels.
  • Hinge forward and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Drive your stomach toward the floor and reach the top of your head back to come into cow pose.
  • Round your spine and tuck your chin to come into cat pose.
  • Continue flowing between cat and cow.

Suboccipital Neck Stretch

  • Begin in a kneeling position, sitting on your heels.
  • Place one hand on your jaw, and the other on the back top of your head.
  • Tuck your chin back and in, then tilt your face toward your knees to feel the stretch.
  • Release and repeat.

Video & photo credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Model: Jen Esquer

 

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