Good ankle mobility contributes to better balance, fewer falls, and better performance during activities like squats and deadlifts.
Equipment needed: none
Movement: ankle dorsiflexion, plantarflexion
- Stand up tall facing a wall.
- Place hands on the wall for support.
- Slowly rock forward onto your toes, coming into a tip-toe position.
- Slowly rock back onto your heels, lifting your toes off the ground.
- Repeat 10 times, holding the wall for balance.
2. Walking hip openers
Your hip joint is a ball and socket joint that moves in all directions. It’s important to warm up the hip and surrounding muscles before any workout, since they are key contributors to balance and stability.
Equipment needed: none
Muscles worked: glutes, hip flexors, hip extensors, hip abductors, hip adductors
- Stand up tall with feet hip-width apart.
- Take one step forward with your right leg, plant your foot firmly on the ground, and lift your left knee to your chest.
- While standing on one leg, make a circle with your knee, bringing it across your body and then out to the side.
- Place left foot on the floor and repeat on the right side.
- Repeat 10 times, then repeat entire sequence moving your legs in the opposite direction by bringing your leg out to the side first and then in a circle across your body.
3. Thoracic spine windmills on floor
Your thoracic spine is in the middle of your back, from the base of the neck to the area between your shoulder blades. Good mobility in the thoracic spine allows you to move your arms freely over your head and turn side to side. Poor mobility can lead to shoulder pain and problems, poor posture, and upper back pain.
Equipment needed: towel or foam roll
Muscles worked: core muscles, upper back, spine stabilizing muscles, and obliques
- Lie on the floor on your side.
- Bend your knees and hips to just past 90 degrees, resting your knees beside you on the floor.
- Straighten your bottom leg and rest your top leg on a foam roller or a towel without changing its position.
- Extend both your arms together along the floor, straight out in front of your body. They should be stacked, palms together, at shoulder height.
- Slowly lift your top arm and rotate it away from you, opening up your chest to the ceiling. You can rest your hand on the other side of your body, if able.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and slowly bring it back to touch your other hand.
- Repeat 5 times on each side.