And today in shocking news: most adults live a sedentary lifestyle.
From the 8 hours we spend in a fluffy bed, to the 45-minute commute to work, to the next 8 hours spent hunched over at a desk, to the 45-minute commute home, to the hours we spend curled up on the couch in front of the television or scrolling the ‘gram… we’re effectively stalled out in a seated position for two thirds of our day. Long stints of sitting means we’re keeping our hips in a constant state of flexion (and I KNOW you’re hunched forward at your desk) — bringing weakened muscle groups and, as a result, poor movement patterns and habits into the gym.
While many coaching-centric gyms provide proper warm-ups and cool-downs for a grueling WOD, you should be moving your joints through their full ranges of motion every single day — regardless of whether you make it to the gym. Mobility and stability movements can help keep your joints healthy, reduce your risk of injury, and give you strong and ~supple~ muscles. So if you can’t make it to the gym, or you’re a chronic dasher when it comes time to stretch post-WOD, here are some functional movements I want you to perform in order to help your body stay mobile.
But first, here’s the nitty:
- How to do these: Do each of the following movements for 1 minute each. Use this routine as a warm-up, cool down, when you roll outta bed, when you are getting ready for bed… literally anytime.
- How long they take: 5 minutes per round — complete as many as you’d like! If you ain’t got 5 minutes to spare a day, I don’t believe you and you’re a liar.
- What you’ll need: Nothing! Just your breath and your body.
Think about your spine in segments: cervical (7 vertebrae at the top of your spine), thoracic (12 vertebrae in your mid-back), and lumbar (5 vertebrae at your low back). As you roll forward, think about moving each part of your spine one vertebrae at a time.
Table Top Reachers
Your poor little lats are probably screaming for you to do these more. Think about karate chopping your hand to the opposite corner and dig the side of your pinky into the ground.
Shinboxes are an excellent mobility flow for your hips because they work both internal and external rotation. If you find that your back is rounding and your core is crunching while performing this movement, place your hands behind you on the ground to help stay tall.
Thoracic Contraction and Opening
From a standing or kneeling position, take the backs of your hands together and round your spine like Cat Pose. Then twist open to each side, keeping your hips square forward.
Downward Dog Knee Taps
Say hello to posterior chain opening and core work. This dynamic circuit will get your hammies nice and stretched and your core activated. Lifting one leg in Downward Dog allows the opposite hamstring to open further. You’ll tap your knee to the same side tricep, your nose or chest, and then to the opposite tricep twisting under to target the obliques.
Alas, mobility is not a one-and-done job — it’s ongoing. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Dedicating 5 minutes a day to mobility-minded movements will help create your mind-muscle connection, prevent injury, and begin to address muscular imbalances.
P.S. If you are hungry for more, check out The Mobile Athlete on Instagram and get stretchin’.