Good Moves

Lean on the CARs Method To Loosen Up Stiff Muscles and Joints in This 11-Minute Mobility Workout

Tamara Pridgett

No matter what type of training you do—Pilates, weightlifting, Muay Thai, running—focusing on your mobility can improve your performance, but more importantly, it can keep your body functioning optimally during training sessions, competitions, and everything else in between. If you've heard the topic of mobility pop up in fitness convos lately or read about mobility exercises but aren't sure how to begin implementing these into your routine, you're in the right place. On the latest episode of Good Moves, Nike master trainer Traci Copeland leads us through an 11-minute full-body mobility workout.

"Today we're going to do a mobility workout that focuses on joint mobility, which is so important because it allows you to get deeper into that squat, deeper into those lunges so you can have a much more effective workout." It also allows you to feel better during your everyday movements. Got tight hips and an achy back when you wake up? Mobility can help. Stiff ankles or a wonky shoulder? Dial 1-800-mobility to feel better.

You're going to start out nice and easy with the world's greatest stretch, then you'll progress into movements like hip CARs (these are great for tight hips and even knee pain) and a downward dog, crouching tiger, high plank combo. As tempting as it may be to push yourself to your limits, "Only go as deep as your body allows you to—really listening to your body," advises Copeland. "This is your moment to kind of take notes of where you're feeling tightness, where you might be sore."

When it comes to implementing this full-body mobility routine, try doing it before your workout as a warmup, do it on an active recovery day, or do it as a standalone workout for the days when you need some gentle and quick movement in your life.

As Copeland reminds us throughout the workout, take note of any tightness and stiffness you may be feeling, because our bodies aren't perfectly balanced. And as you do this routine more consistently, begin to notice if your range of motion improves and if you feel less stiff.

If you're ready to open up your shoulders, hips, spine, and anything else that might be creaking and aching, press play on the video above, because you (and your joints) deserve some TLC.

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