Do you have this essential activity in your fitness regimen? Circle, twist and swing your way to joint mobility.
It probably doesn’t sound sexy, but joint mobility is at the core of everyday movements, and if you want to perform better in your workouts – or even just get through daily activities with more ease – then joint mobility is the place to begin.
Loss of mobility silently sneaks up on us (especially as we age) and can put a real monkey wrench into daily activities we typically take for granted. If you’ve ever spent a marathon session on the computer, you know how quickly it can stiffen your neck and shoulders. Imagine that stiff neck and sore shoulders sticking around – all the time. The tough truth is, that over time, sedentary lifestyles can lead to tight muscles and arthritis. Even if you work out, long sessions of sitting aren’t doing your body any favors.
Joint mobility helps move joints through their full range of motion, which “reminds” your joints of all the wonderful mobility they possess. It’s truly a use it or lose it proposition, so how can you be on the winning side of the equation? The good news, you may already do some stretching or light yoga to start your day, and incorporating some simple mobility work into your routine will actually help you to stretch and bend more deeply – and safely.
A simple mobility drill to start your day, or as a terrific mid-day computer break, looks like this:
Neck – Yes & No. Nod your head yes for a count of 10, then shake your head no. Do this relatively slowly (no whiplash here!) and move through your full range of motion.
Shoulder circles – Extend your arm and in a circular motion forward for 10 and then backward for 10.
Torso twist – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your spine in a neutral position, and twist side to side 10 times. Next, put a slight bend in your knees and move your chest forward (imagine a downhill skiing position, only not quite as extreme), then twist for another 10.
Hip swings – Find a wall to steady yourself for this one. Swing your leg forward and back for 10, then swing it side to side for another 10. Repeat with your other leg.
That’s it! All this takes less than five minutes. Want more? You can get a ton of other ideas from the Mark’s Daily Apple blog here. Stay mobile!