Coach Ange’s Corner: The Essential Mobility Exercises

A diagram of the 1/2 Kneeling PVC Knee Tap.

Angela Dendas-Pleasant has been leading the athletics department in strength and conditioning in the last five years, sculpting many of the athletes on campus into premier competitors. And now in collaboration with Pioneer Log, her knowledge and guidance are being made available for everyone in the Lewis & Clark community. For this edition, the focus is on mobility, which is key in maximizing any workout, especially when it comes to lower body sessions. If you are just starting to exercise and get into shape, bodyweight mobility circuits like this one will be a perfect stepping stone in strengthening muscles and developing your fitness before moving into more strenuous activities.

A common rule of thumb to keep in mind when exercising is that when muscles are stretched, they grow. This idea is the same when it comes to mobility. Muscles need to be stretched to become more limber. Therefore it is important to get a good stretch while performing a mobility exercise.  Push your limits a little bit, but not to the point to where you feel like you will injure yourself. Small, incremental advancements each week will prove to show major gains with persistence.

Though there is little movement or weights being used here, safety is always the number one priority. If you feel unsure about something, take a step back and study it before diving right into it.

Areas to target when focusing on mobility should usually be in the neck, shoulders, hips, and knees. While working on these areas, be sure to take more time and focus on stretching the muscles. The following workout will take you through a great mobility rotation that you can do throughout the week to enhance your exercise routine.

The workout below provides a great whole body focus on mobility and shows how to strengthen muscles and joints that are often left out of traditional workouts. To ensure that the exercises are being done correctly, please feel free to look up @strengthcoachtherapy on Instagram, or take a look at them on youtube. This page is specific to muscle rehabilitation and mobility exercises, and they offer helpful guidance in training safely.

Mobility Circuit:

Mini Swiss Ball Neck Work (hold the ball on a wall with head & keep body angled to the wall):

  • Standing Neck Flexion (tuck chin)
  • Standing Neck Extension (tilt chin)
  • Standing Neck Lateral Flexion (press ear to shoulder)

T-Spine Mobility:

  • Blackburn (lying face down on floor position)PVC Behind Neck Press
  • Blackburn Arm Swings (palms down, swing arms, palms up)

Hip Mobility:

  • Hurdle Lateral Step Overs
  • Hurdle Lateral Step Unders
  • Hurdle Forward Step Overs
  • Hurdle Backward Step Overs

Ankle Mobility:

  • ½ Kneeling PVC Knee Tap (PVC overhead and tap opposite side)

Written by J’Juan White and Angela Dendas-Pleasant.

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