October 3

Awesome Stretches and Mobility Exercises

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Awesome stretches and mobility exercises

This is a collection of a few social media posts on stretching, flexibility and joint pain.

If you want to feel less stiff and achy, the moves in these graphics should help.

Before we get started, please note that if any of them cause you pain, don’t do them. Check with a doctor or physio who can assess your personal needs.

Make sure you start off gently and only go to a point that feels comfortable, even if it doesn’t feel like much.

If you can feel a stretch, or the muscles working in what feels like a good way, that’s great. It’s likely you’ll be able to increase the range of motion over time as your body gets used to it.

What are some of the best stretches you can do?

Here’s a collection of some highly effective stretches you can do for your whole body.

⁣You can do any of these at any time of day – they’re good to do around a workout, but are beneficial at any time.

They could be part of an evening routine while watching TV – perhaps do a couple in the ad break. A number of my clients have found it helpful to do a stretch whenever they’ve got 30 seconds spare (like when waiting for the kettle to boil), or whenever they need a quick break from working.

If you’re prone to stress and feeling a bit frazzled, pair these with a focus on taking a few slow deep breaths too.⁣

Breathe into your stomach, feel the muscle stretch, and your body relax.⁣


How long should I hold the stretches for?

Good question.

If it’s just before doing some exercise, then a few seconds on each stretch works well. Repeat the stretch 10 times, so you’re loosening things off and preparing for action.

If it’s just after doing some exercise (or at any other time of day), 30 seconds is a good time to aim for with each stretch. Longer (up to a minute) can be beneficial.

Now let’s focus in a bit more on a couple of key areas that are prone to becoming stiff and sore.

 

Stretches and exercises for back pain

In our modern day sitting down world, the muscles around our hips can easily get stiff and inflexible.

Along with this, our glute (bottom) muscles – a key player in healthy movement of the body – tend to get a bit lazy and switch off.⁣

As a result, when the glutes switch off, the muscles in your back and around your knees have to do more work.

And that can lead to an achy lower back, stiff knees, or both.⁣
⁣⁣⁣
But never fear, because the moves in this infographic can help.⁣

Remember- if any cause you pain, don’t do them. These are general recommendations that may help, but we all have different bodies with different needs and issues. So make sure to speak to a doctor or physio if you’re unsure.⁣⁣

If they feel ok, they’re good to do daily (2-3 times per week is fine), and can make a real difference over time.⁣

Moves to try:

⁣⁣⁣

Here’s a run through of each movement in the graphic, and a few points to remember:⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
▶️ Spiderman stretch – 5 each leg⁣⁣⁣
This opens your hips and stretches the muscles at the front of your back leg. Hold for the position for 5 seconds each side.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Kneeling lat stretch – 30 seconds⁣⁣⁣
Aim to feel this under your shoulders and down the sides of your back (this targets your latissimus dorsi muscle, or ‘lats’). Push your bottom back to feel it more.⁣

▶️ Glute bridges – 12-15 reps⁣⁣⁣
The goal of this is to activate your glute muscles. Activated glutes will do more work, and take some of the pressure away from your back and knees. Push through your heels and clench your butt cheeks at the top to feel the muscles working.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Kneeling rotations – 5 each side⁣⁣⁣
This is a great move for opening out your chest and upper back. Reach as far as you can under your leg, then turn and aim to feel your shoulder, chest and torso stretch as you point to the ceiling.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
▶️ Standing quad stretch – 30 seconds each side⁣⁣⁣
Aim to feel this in the quadriceps muscles, which run down the front of your thigh. Push your hip forward to feel it more.⁣
⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Lying glute stretch – 30 seconds each side⁣⁣⁣
The goal is to feel this in your glute (you might feel it deep in your hips or bottom) on the leg that’s crossed over⁣.⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

You can do these as a routine 2-3 times per week (or more often) or just pick one or two that feel good each day.

Stretches and Exercises for Knee pain

Similarly to back pain, a common reason for sore knees is that our hips get stiff and our glutes switch off.

Glutes are major players in the muscle world – when they’re working well, we tend to move well and our body feels good.⁣

And when they’ve fallen asleep, we’re more likely to suffer back and knee pain.⁣

So it really helps to stretch often to keep your hips mobile, and regularly work your bottom.⁣

The infographic shows a combination of hip stretches and glute activation exercises that can do just that.⁣⁣

You’ll notice some similarities and crossover with exercises that benefit your back – it’s amazing how beneficial a few key stretches (and glute bridges) can be.
⁣⁣⁣⁣
If the exercises feel fine, they’re good to do as often as you like (apart from the kettlebell deadlift, where 2-3 times per week is best), and can make a real difference over time.⁣⁣

 

Moves to try:


⁣⁣⁣⁣
Here’s a run through of each movement in the graphic, and a few points to remember:⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

▶️ Glute bridges – 10-15 reps⁣⁣⁣⁣
The goal of this is to activate your glute muscles. Push through your heels and clench your butt cheeks at the top to feel the muscles working.⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Spiderman stretch – 5 each leg⁣⁣⁣⁣
This opens your hips and stretches the front of your back leg. Hold for 5 seconds each side.⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
▶️ Single leg deadlift – 5 each leg⁣
This will strengthen your hamstrings and glutes without putting much stress on the knee. Also great for balance.⁣
⁣⁣
➡️ Kettlebell deadlift – 6-12 reps ⁣
Can also be done with dumbells or a bar. Push your bottom backwards, keeping your back straight. The goal is to hinge at your hip joint, with not much bend in the knees. The kettlebell should land in between your feet, with you maintaining a good strong posture. From there, stand back up by driving your hips forward, and squeeze your glutes at the top.⁣

▶️ Lying glute stretch – 30 seconds each side⁣⁣⁣⁣
The goal is to feel this in your glute (you might feel it deep in your hips or bottom) on the leg that’s crossed over⁣.⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Standing quad stretch – 30 seconds each side⁣⁣⁣⁣
Aim to feel this in the quadriceps muscles, which run down the front of your thigh. Push your hip forward to feel it more.⁣


You can do these as a routine or pick one or two that feel good each day. ⁣⁣

If you have a foam roller, rolling your quad and glute muscles before stretching them can help a lot too. You can find a foam roller on my Store page HERE.

I’d always highly recommend Pilates or yoga ⁣- two brilliant activities to do.

 

How to Warm up for Exercise

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You might see a common theme with the moves below.

Yes, they’ve appeared in other graphics, but if we’re talking specifically about warming up (rather than just stretching) these would be great ones to focus on.

So, here we have six exercises you can do to get your body ready for action. They also make an excellent mini mobility workout.

The goal here is to do dynamic stretching, which means stretching using fluid movement, rather than holding for 30 seconds or more.

Dynamic stretching encourages the joints to loosen off, while keeping warm and ready for the moves they’ll do during exercise.

⁣⁣⁣⁣

Here are suggested reps for each movement and a few points to remember:⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

➡️ Child’s pose – 30 seconds⁣
Sit your bottom over your heels while keeping your arms out in front to feel the stretch in your shoulders and back.⁣

➡️ Glute bridges – 10-15 reps⁣⁣⁣⁣
The goal of this is to activate your glute muscles. Push through your heels and clench your butt cheeks at the top to feel the muscles working.⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Spiderman stretch – 5 each leg⁣⁣⁣⁣
Opens your hips and stretches the front of your back leg. Hold for 5 seconds each side.⁣⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣➡️ Kneeling rotations – 5 each side⁣⁣⁣⁣
Reach as far as you can under your leg, then turn and aim to feel your shoulder, chest and torso stretch as you point to the ceiling.⁣⁣⁣⁣

➡️ Side lunge – 5 each leg⁣⁣
Good for hip mobility and an inner thigh stretch. Keep your toes pointing forwards, and shift your weight into your heel as you step out.⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣
➡️ Touch toes – squat – 5 reps⁣⁣
Reach down to your toes with straight legs to stretch your hamstrings. Then bend your knees and lift your chest so you’re in a squat position. Stand and repeat.⁣⁣

 

Stretches and Mobility Exercises – Where to See Videos

So there we have it, I hope this helps.

There are plenty of posts, infographics and videos on my Instagram page that you might find useful – come find me here:

@hayleyplummerpt

 

And if you’d like to find out more about Online Coaching (for flexibility, strength, weight loss, and any other goals you have), just click this link:

Benefits of Having an Online Weight Loss Coach

online weight loss coaching


Tags

back pain exercises, cool down, flexibility routine, knee pain exercises, mobility, mobility exercises, stretches, womens personal trainer


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