Moving your joints through its entire range of motion before exercising feels good – and it reduces your risk of injury. Try this mobility warm-up routine before exercising to stay safe!
Working on your mobility means both stretching your muscles and moving your joints through the whole range of motion. Mobility exercises are more effective as a warm-up than static stretching, as it uses both movement and motor control to warm up the muscles and lubricate the joints. When you work out after practicing mobility exercises, you’ll create stronger muscles within a new and improved range of motion.
In order for mobility exercises to be effective, you need to practice them consistently. With each exercise, focus on going through the full range of motion in a gentle manner. The exercises should feel smooth and not forced. You should also be able to breathe properly the entire time.
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Do these eight mobility warm-up exercises before each workout to get your body ready for exercise. After your workout, do some static stretches to lengthen your muscles back out and cool down. All you need is a soft surface or a mat.
Inchworm | 5 reps
This dynamic exercise improves mobility in your hips and shoulders while activating your core.
- Start standing up with your feet hip-width distance apart. Engage your abs.
- Keep your back flat and hinge at the hips to slowly fold forward. Then, bend your knees and set your hands on the ground.
- Walk your hands forward until you are in a high plank position with the shoulders stacked over the wrists.
- Walk your hands back to your feet and stand up with a flat back.
- Repeat for 5 reps.
Upward-To-Downward Dog | 5 reps
Warm up the shoulders and hips by flowing through this yoga-inspired mobility exercise.
- Begin in a high plank position with your abs engaged.
- Inhale as you lower your hips towards the ground and lift your chest up towards the sky, coming into upward dog. Your hips and knees should be off the mat.
- Exhale, and use your abs to pike your hips up towards the sky, coming into downward dog.
- Slowly return to high plank.
- Continue alternating between upward-facing dog and downward-facing dog for 5 reps.
Runner’s Lunge to Scissor Stretch | 5 reps per side
This mobility warm-up move stretches the hips and hamstrings while lubricating the hip, knee, and ankle joints.
- Start in a high plank position.
- Step your right foot outside of your right wrist. Your knee should be stacked over your ankle. Engage your abs and tent your fingers on the mat.
- Inhale to gently lower your hips towards the ground, coming into a runner’s lunge.
- Exhale to lift your hips up towards the sky and straighten out your legs, coming into a scissor stretch.
- Move with your breath as you alternate between the two poses for 5 reps total.
Windshield Wiper | 10 reps per side
Gently warm up the hip joints and lower back with this easy exercise.
- Sit on your mat with your knees bent and your feet out wider than your hips. Rest your hands on the floor behind you and lean back onto your palms, keeping your shoulders and elbows relaxed.
- Exhale to lower your knees to the right.
- Inhale to point your knees back up towards the ceiling and then exhale to lower them to the left.
- Continue rocking your legs side-to-side for 10 reps in each direction.
Twisted Funky Pigeon | 5 reps per side
Warm up the hips, quads, lower back, and obliques with the feel-good hip opener.
- Parallel your right shin to the top of your mat and bring your left leg back with the knee bent. Keep both feet flexed.
- Tent your fingers in front of your right shin and lift your chest to lengthen your spine.
- Walk your hands over to the right. If you can, lower down to your left forearm. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Press back up to your hands and walk them in front of your right shin again.
- Repeat this slow twist 5 times, then switch sides.
Dynamic Supine Twist | 5 reps per side
This mobility warm-up preps your spine, back, hips and shoulders for your workout.
- Lie on your left side with your left leg straight your right knee bent. Bring your palms to touch with your arms straight out in front of you.
- Take a deep inhale, then exhale to twist your right arm all the way open until the shoulder touches the ground.
- Hold this supine twist for 5 seconds, then roll back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 5 reps, then switch sides.
Three-Way Lunge | 5 reps per side
Take your lunge to the next level with this mobility warm up for your lower body and core.
- Stand with your feet together and your hands clasped in front of your chest. Engage your abs.
- Inhale to step your right foot forward to come into a forward lunge. Bend both knees towards 90 degrees and keep your torso upright. Drive through the right heel on an exhale to step your right foot back in line with your left.
- Next, inhale to step your right foot straight out to the right to come into a side lunge, keeping your left leg straight. Exhale to step your right foot back to meet your left.
- Lastly, inhale to step your right foot back at a 45-degree angle to come into a diagonal lunge. Keep the weight back in the right heel as you sit your hips back and down and keep your left leg straight. Make sure your knee stays in line with your toes. Exhale to step your right foot back up to meet your left.
- Switch sides and perform all three lunges leading with the left leg.
- Repeat the lunge routine on each side for a total of 3 times each.
Thoracic Bridge | 5 reps per side
This is the ultimate mobility warm-up. It opens the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles while releasing tension in the hips and chest. It also prepares the core for a workout.
- Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the mat. Place your right hand down behind you with the fingers pointing away from your body.
- Press into both feet and the right hand to lift your hips up. Then, reach your left arm across your body to come into a twist. Keep the palm facing down as you reach to feel a nice stretch in the upper back.
- Hold here for 3 seconds, then gently lower back down. Switch sides, then continue alternating for a total of 5 reps per side.
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