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7 Mobility Exercises to Boost Your Health and Fitness

0 6 months ago

When was the last time you thought about doing a mobility workout? Just as you train for aerobic endurancestrength, and flexibility, you also need to train for mobility, especially if you want to maintain a vibrant, active life.

Mobility refers to the way your joints move inside their socket. “Mobility is the ability to move your joints freely with the surrounding tissues allowing the movement to happen smoothly,” says Denise Cervantes, an ACSM-certified sports performance and fitness specialist based in San Bernardino, California.

Think, for instance, the way the shoulder moves when you’re doing an arm windmill or arm circle.

It’s related, but not synonymous with, flexibility. Flexibility refers to the ability to lengthen or hold a muscle in a stretch. Mobility refers to the range of motion of your joints.

Mobility exercises tend to be more dynamic than exercises to improve flexibility, Cervantes says. Yet working on both can lead to some of the same benefits.

“If you don’t have flexibility or mobility, in time it can get harder to do simple things like getting in and out of your car, bending down to put on your shoes, or reaching up to get something out of a cupboard,” Cervantes says. And it could make training and exercise more difficult.

RELATED: Here’s How Exercise Boosts Your Health

7 mobility exercises to strengthen your joints and increase your range of  motion - The ManualTake, for instance, mobility in your hips and thoracic spine. If you keep these body parts immobile too much, you may develop injuries simply due to repetitive daily behaviors, namely from excessive sitting and device use, according to a study.

Without attention, those habits cause kyphosis, an exaggerated rounding of the back, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Immobility can also lead to poor walking mechanics. “Because of so much sitting, the hip flexors become so tight that they’re unable to open so when you walk, you’re only able to use a shortened stride,” she says. You’re then more likely to shuffle your feet as you walk when you age, your body hunched over.

The good news is that simple mobility exercises, when practiced regularly, can help prevent these issues now and slow some of the related natural issues that happen with age.

Even better? You’re never too young — or old — to start mobility training. “At all points of your life, mobility training should be part of your strength training program,” says Prentiss Rhodes, CSCS, a NASM-certified personal trainer and master instructor based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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