You’re crushing your goals and your New Year’s resolutions are now a part of your life —and the results are starting to show in pounds lost or inches gained. And then you bend or twist to do something simple and it happens. You find yourself thinking, “I’m too healthy/strong/active to be unable to tie my shoe, reach the zipper in the middle of my back, check over my shoulder for oncoming traffic….”
Mobility is the secret to range of motion and injury prevention, whether at the gym, at home or at the office. Fitness celebrity and movement expert Jill Miller has developed a sequence of six moves for head-to-toe mobility to help keep you on track and injury- and pain-free as you continue to go from strength to strength.
1. Ankle Mobility
- Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your feet together so your inner ankle bones are touching, and wrap a band or strap around them.
- Slide your feet under your bottom and flex them to curl your toes under and sit on your heels.
- Rise up on your knees and point your toes away so that the tops of your feet are on the floor, and sit on your heels.
- Rise up and curl your toes under; sit on your heels and try to press the mat away with your toes.
- Rise up and point your toes; sit on your feet and splay your toes, pressing the nail beds into the floor.
- Slide your feet out from under you, unwrap them and walk barefoot—you’ll feel the difference.
2. Knee Mobility
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Cross your right knee behind and nestle it into the back of your left knee.
- Squat down as far as you can, to slide the calf musculature off to the side. Stand up, switch sides and repeat.
- If you need to modify for pressure or balance, rest your hand against a wall or sit in a chair and cross knees to do the movement.
3. Hip Mobility
- Start seated, knees bent, with the outside of your left leg on the floor and left shin in front of your hips, and the inside of your right leg resting on the floor with your right shin outside of your right hip. This starting position rotates your left hip outward and your right hip inward.
- Engage your core, lift your knees (keeping your feet on the floor) and pivot to your right. Then pivot to your left.
- Keep your spine neutral. Move your front foot slightly away from your body if you need to modify the movement for better range of motion.
4. Spine Mobility
- Lay prone on the floor, arms extended out to either side and head turned so your left cheek is on the floor.
- Bend your right knee, shift your hips slightly to the right, and reach your right foot back around to touch your right toes to the floor behind your left hip. Keep your shoulders and chest pressed to the floor.
- Return to start and repeat in the opposite direction.
5. Shoulder Mobility
- Start standing with your hands at your sides, palms facing forward.
- Bring your wrists and elbows together to touch in front of your body, and keeping your forearms together, bend your elbows and lift your arms so that your palms pass over your head.
- Rotate your wrists when your hands past behind your head and open your arms out to trace a circle and return to the starting position.
6. Neck Mobility
- Stand tall.
- Rotate your head as far you can to the right and then to the left.
- Tilt your head to bring your right ear to your right shoulder; repeat to the left. Don’t let your opposite shoulder rise.
- Tuck your chin to your sternum without rounding; lift your chin and let the back of your head drop back.
- Rotate to the right, flex chin to collarbone, extend the back of your head to your left shoulder. Repeat in the other direction.
- Flex laterally to the right, rotate your chin up to the left and down to your right shoulder.
Photo credit: Milles Studio, Stocksy
Videos: Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com
Hair and makeup: Mariah Nicole, mariahnicole.com