When we fail to use our body as intended, we lose range of motion and strength. When we are
forced to use that range, we no longer have, or perform certain tasks, it hurts. When it hurts to
move, we move less. A vicious cycle yes, the end of the road, hell no! There are always things we can
do to maintain and improve our range of motion, you could go read and implement Kelly Starrett’s
Supple Leopard book, which wouldn’t be the worst thing, or you could have a crack at these five
Deep squat sit
There’s not a much better test of your range of motion than a full ass to grass squat. Such a position simultaneously requires; full ankle dorsi-flexion, full knee flexion & full hip flexion. Some of us are lucky in that the shape of our joints, especially the hips, can allow such a movement but that doesn’t mean a those of your who struggle can’t sit as deep as your range allows and reaps some benefits. Typically it’ll be the heels that want to raise off the floor, so this will help with that ankle rang. Once you are nice and deep, push those elbows out against your thighs and get that chest up. Accumulate time and live down there.
Band Pull Apart
The key here is scapula retraction. A lot of us lack strength through the rhomboids and rear deltoids,
that coupled with a habit of hunching through every day tasks means that our scapula’s commonly
sit in an elevated, upwardly rotated and protracted position on our ribcage. This position can cause
problems further down the line at the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint) especially through
overhead movements. The band pull apart, & the next exercise the bodyweight hang will help get
that scapula and shoulder stronger and more stable.
First up, grip strength can be a limiting factor for a lot of people attempting a true bodyweight hang.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands above your head. As humans, we suck above our
head. We’ve evolved from hanging and swinging but a lack of hanging and swinging means we have
really poor overhead mobility. The bodyweight hang is step one in the remedy to improve it. True, it
might be a struggle for some, it also might open your eyes up to the fact you are a) weak b)
overweight or c) a little bit of both. That said, it’ll pay to get better at bodyweight hangs.
Hip Flexor/Oblique Stretch
This is the anti-sit stretch. We do a lot of sitting, I’m sitting right now as I type this blog. Sitting too
much can create a lot of problems if we don’t move, but with this exercise we are talking about the
quadriceps, hip flexors and obliques specifically. This stretch combines to hit them all, placing us in
full hip extension, a good degree of knee flexion whilst lengthening out our abs/obliques. There is
even a lats involved which is an added bonus.
Glute Bridge/Hip Thrust
We want our glutes to be nice and strong, like the above stretch we also want full hip extension,
especially when it comes to doing anything athletic. The isometric (stationary) glute bridge coupled
with the dynamic (up and down) hip thrust are a sure fire way to improve glute strength, mind
muscle connection to the glutes and helping improve our full hip extension.
There you go, 5 moves you could literally do in less than 5 minutes to help you move and feel better.
Feel free to share this blog or even send me a DM if it helped you out, I love hearing feedback.