Improving your mobility is essential to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. As you age, staying on top of your mobility becomes increasingly important, as it can help prevent injuries, improve balance, and enhance quality of life, according to the National Institute on Aging. Whether you’re an athlete looking to boost performance or simply want your body to move better and reduce your injury risk, mobility should be a top priority for everyone. That’s why we spoke with Mike Masi, CPT, a certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews, who reveals his top-ranking workout for improving your mobility.

Mobility is your ability to move freely and easily. It involves far more than flexibility, encompassing other factors like joint health, muscular strength, and coordination. Maintaining mobility as you age will reduce your fall risk, enhance athletic performance, and allow you to enjoy daily activities more efficiently. Plus, mobility work can help alleviate stiffness and discomfort, making staying active and engaged in life more manageable.

Regardless of your fitness level, the following mobility exercises (courtesy of Masi) can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Incorporating these trainer-approved movements into your routine can improve your overall mobility and elevate your quality of life.

World’s Greatest Stretch

Enhance your mobility with this dynamic stretch that targets multiple muscle groups, including the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders. This movement helps boost core strength and hip mobility

“Begin in a pushup position and step your right foot forward next to your right hand,” instructs Masi. “Lower your left knee to the floor, pressing your hips forward. Rotate your upper body to the right, reaching your right arm toward the ceiling, and hold for three seconds. Alternatively, you can reach your right elbow toward the inside of your right ankle and hold for three seconds. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.”

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Perform one to two sets of five to eight reps per side.

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Samson Lunge

Improve hip flexibility and lower body mobility with this effective lunge variation.

“Stand upright with your feet together,” Masi instructs. “Step forward with your right foot into a deep lunge position. Interlace your fingers and raise your arms overhead, reaching upward as far as possible. Lean forward slightly to feel the stretch in your left hip flexor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other side,”

Aim for one to two sets of eight to 10 reps per side.

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Shin Box Hip Mobilization

Loosen up tight hips and your lower back with this seated hip mobilization exercise.

To perform this exercise, Masi says, “Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Drop both knees to the right, forming a ‘shin box’ position with your left knee pointing forward and your right knee pointing backward. Place your hands on the ground in front of you for support if needed. Alternatively, perform a glute bridge by extending both hips off the floor, holding for a few seconds, then lowering back down. Rotate your knees back to the center, then to the opposite side, allowing your body to move with the motion. Continue alternating sides, moving slowly and focusing on mobilizing your hips.”

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Thread the Needle

thread the needle exercisethread the needle exercise
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This simple yet effective stretch enhances your thoracic spine mobility and shoulder flexibility.

“Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips,” says Masi. “Reach your right arm under your body to the left, allowing your right shoulder and ear to gently rest on the ground, getting a stretch behind the right shoulder blade and upper back. Optionally, from this position, lightly push either hand into the ground to add overpressure into the stretch. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, reaching your left arm under your body to the right.”

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Aim for one or two sets of six to eight reps per side.

Windshield Wipers

Boost your lower body mobility with this lying-down exercise.

“Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees and arms reached out to the side with palms facing down,” Masi says. “Allow your legs to fall to the right, keeping your shoulders on the ground. Use your right hand to gently press your left knee toward the ground for an added stretch. Engage your core muscles to bring your legs back to the center, then repeat the movement on the other side.”

Perform two to three sets of six to eight reps per side.

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Shoulder Pass-throughs

Improve your shoulder mobility and flexibility with this straightforward exercise.

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a broomstick or PVC pipe with both hands using a wide grip,” says Masi. “Slowly narrow your grip between reps to deepen the stretch if needed. With your arms straight, lift the stick out in front of you, then over your head, and eventually behind your head, stopping where you feel the biggest stretch in the front of the chest and shoulders. Hold for five seconds, then bring the stick back over your head and to the front.”

Repeat this movement slowly and smoothly for eight to 10 reps, aiming for one or two sets.

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