When it comes to getting stronger, your recovery days are just as important as your active ones, and today's recovery is all about making your body more mobile. Mobility refers to the range of motion of the joints and structures in your body, and is critical for allowing you to move normally in your day-to-day activities—whether that's tying your shoes or going for a walk around the block. Suffice to say everyone can benefit from being a bit more mobile, and we tapped trainer Ashley Joi to help you do it as part of our 2021 ReNew Year Movement program.
“Even though it’s a recovery day, keeping your body moving is really really important," says Joi. That’s why today, she is bringing you a seven-minute full-body mobility workout that will stretch and strengthen every muscle in your body. By working on your mobility on an active-recovery day, you're doing your future self a favor. So grab a chair (or a wall) and let’s get started!
Try this 7-minute, full-body mobility workout
1. Forward-and-back standing leg swings: Leg swings are a great way to wake up your hip flexors, which should feel especially good if you've spent a significant amount of time parked in an uncomfy WFH setup. Grab onto a wall or chair with one hand for balance, swing the leg closest to the chair or wall forwards and backward. Then turn around and hit the other side.
2. Side-to-side standing leg swings: Now, place both hands on the back of your chair or wall, and swing one leg out to the side and back across the other way. “This is a great way to stretch your abductors and adductors,” says Joi.
3. Knee hugs: Knee hugs are exactly what they sound like: Giving your knee a hug. Stand up tall and alternate bringing one knee at a time into your chest, wrapping your arms around your calf to give your muscles a nice squeeze and stretch.
4. Shin box lifts: This move is a yummy way to really get into your hips. Sit down in a butterfly position and swing one leg back behind you the other way so you’re making a backward "S" with your knees. Then, rock yourself up on your front knee to feel a nice stretch in the front of your hip flexor. If your chair or wall is handy, grab on for stability.
5. Lunge to rotation: This move is a great way to increase mobility in your thoracic spine (aka the upper part of your back). Step forward into a lunge, and extend your arms out to the side, then twist over your front knee. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.
6. Push-up to child’s pose: Starting in a high plank position, drop down into a single push-up, then push yourself back to child’s pose, sinking your hips into your heels and reaching your hands out in front of you. Not feeling a full push-up on your mobility day? Drop down to your knees for a modified version, instead.
7. Knee drive to down dog: For your last dynamic move, bring your hips up to a downward-facing dog. From there, swing one leg up and back behind you, bringing it in towards your nose. Make sure to get a few reps in on both sides.
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