MOVEMENT

Make It Mobile, Make It Stronger: Bodyweight Mobility and Strength Workout

By Jiji Pollock

This bodyweight sequence provides your body with mobility and strength. You can try it two different ways to emphasize mobility or add some strength training, depending on what you feel you need on a given day. You’ll also feel some cardio components while you move in different planes of motion.

  • To focus on mobility, perform the movement on each side and flow into the next exercise in the series.
  • To add some strength training, follow the repetition scheme provided for each move.

If you’re a beginner, try this sequence for one or two sets. If your fitness is intermediate- to advanced-level, try this sequence for three or four sets. Regardless of your level, make sure you incorporate the wrist warm-up prior to beginning and weave it in between sets of work.

WARM-UP

Wrist Shake

  • Make a fist with each hand and extend your thumbs and pinky fingers out as if you’re about to perform a Hawaiian “shaka shake.”
  • Turn your palms inward so that your pinky fingers are pointing toward the floor. Shake your wrists like salt and pepper shakers for about 10 seconds.
  • Turn your palms down so they’re facing toward the back of the room with your pinky fingers pointing out. Shake your wrists side to side for about 10 seconds.

WORKOUT

Kick Through

For strength training, alternate for 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

  • Begin on all fours, making sure your wrists are stacked underneath your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees to hover about one inch off the floor.

Level 1 

  • Take your right hand off the floor and kick your left leg through toward the right side of the room, rotating to touch your right heel on the floor. (You will be facing the right side of the room.)
  • Rotate to bring your left leg back and your hand down to your starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side, taking your left hand off the floor and kicking your right leg through toward the left side of the room, rotating to touch your left heel on the floor. (You will be facing the left side.)

Level 2

  • Take your right hand off the floor and kick your left leg through toward the right side of the room, keeping your right heel off the floor.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side, taking your left hand off the floor and kicking your right leg through toward the left side of the room, keeping your left heel off the floor.

Level 3

  • Take your right hand off the floor and kick your left leg through toward the right side of the room, keeping your right heel off the floor and touching your left toes with your right hand.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side, taking your left hand off the floor and kicking your right leg through towards the left side of the room, keeping your left heel off the floor and touching your toes with your left hand.

Inverted Scorpion

For strength training, alternate for eight to 10 repetitions per side.

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor, and your hands planted on the floor with your wrists stacked underneath your shoulders.
  • Lift your right hand off the floor and sweep up and over your head, while lifting your hips off the floor and arching your back.
  • Return to your starting position, sweeping your hand over and down as you lower your hips to sit on the floor.
  • Repeat on the other side. Lift your left hand off the floor and reach above the top of your head, while lifting your hips off the floor and arching your back. Then return to your starting position.

Pounce

Repeat eight to 10 times for strength training.

  • Begin on all fours, making sure your wrists are stacked underneath your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees to hover about one inch off the floor.
  • Drive your hips back and down toward the floor.
  • Staying low to the floor, push your hips forward and lift your right foot to step forward as you rotate your torso and raise your right hand to your right ear. (You will be facing right.)
  • Lower your right hand and step your right foot back to your starting position.
  • Drive your hips back and down toward the floor and repeat the movement on your left side. Staying low to the floor, push your hips forward and lift your left foot to step forward as you rotate your torso and raise your left hand to your left ear. (You will be facing left.)
  • Lower your left hand and step your left foot back to your starting position.

Tabletop to L-Sit

Repeat eight to 10 times for strength training.

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor, and your hands planted on the floor with your wrists stacked underneath your shoulders.
  • Lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a flat table from head to knees.
  • Lower and drive your hips as far as possible toward the back of the room until your body forms an “L,” with your hips off the ground and your legs as straight as possible.
  • Keeping your hips off the floor, swing them forward to return to a tabletop position.
  • Continue alternating between tabletop and “L” sitting position.

COOL-DOWN

Repeat the Wrist Shake to relax your wrists.

Video credit: Video credit: mrs_veronik, Getty Images
Photo credit: puhhha, Getty Images
GIFs: Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com
Grooming: Nikol Elaine, nikolelaine.com
Model: Gregory Howard Jr., 24 Hour Fitness

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Author

Jiji Pollock

Jiji Pollock has been in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years and is passionate about helping individuals maintain health through movement and sustainable healthy habits. She works as an Exercise Physiologist, Health and Human Performance Advisor with the Institute of Motion. She began her passion for health and fitness as a group fitness instructor and recreational triathlete as an undergraduate student. Pollock is a certified personal trainer (former Master Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness), holds a M.S. Kinesiology degree and is currently a PhD Candidate in Health and Human Performance at the Concordia University of Chicago. She enjoys swimming, biking, and running and enjoys rock climbing with her three sons. Her second passion is cooking and dark chocolate.  

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