Ah mobility. We all love it, we all want more of it in our lives. But how can you implement it in your daily routine in a way that makes sense? I find the best way to use mobility is to have a foundational set of movements that I can use, and build on from there if I have more time. Having a basic mobility routine is certainly useful for not only improving the quality of your movement, but it’s also a good way to loosen up in the morning or evening, or to to gauge how you are physically feeling once you start performing the drills.
Having a basic mobility routine is a jumping off point that is only limited by your imagination. Much like muscle, the more you use your imagination, the stronger it will get. After gaining a mastery of your base routine you can just keep adding variety; you can make it 5 minutes, you can make it over 30 if you decide to do so! What follows is my personal favorite routine. It consists of 3 separate drills which are combined into one entire flow.
1: Shin Box
Most of us by now know what shin boxing is. Shin Boxing consists of sitting on a flat surface, putting your heels on the floor in front of you at just beyond hip width, you then use your heels as a pivot point and drop both your knees to one side making a 90 degree angle with both legs, then you pivot over to the other side making the same angle. I like to do this about 10-20 times depending on how my hips are feeling that day. This is a great hip mobility drill and can be done with hand propped behind you for support, or hands off the ground for added difficulty.
2: The Weightless (Naked) Turkish Get-Up
I love this one. This more than any other can give you a sense of how stiff or loose you are feeling during the day. I also like to add in additional stretching as well. When I reach the tri-pod portion of the get-up I like to place both of my hands on my front knee. From there I will keep the 90 degree angle my legs are making as strict as possible and rock forward giving the inner hip on that particular side an excellent stretch. You can choose to make this a static hold or, in a controlled manner, rock forward and back. After the tri-pod you will find yourself in the half-kneeling position. Again, drop both hands to the front knee and rock forward in order to stretch out the hip flexors. After that, stand up, and pause because now we have reached the 3rd drill.
3: Squat Windmill
I do the Squat Windmill before squatting every time. This is a wonderful drill to loosen up the ankles, hips, t-spine, shoulders, and get comfortable at the bottom of your squat position. Get in your squat stance and raise up both arms overhead. Bring the arms down and put your fingers under your toes trying your best to keep your legs as straight as possible. Smash your fingers into the floor using your toes and keep your hips as high as possible. Look up and then pull your hips DOWN and pull your chest UP, keeping your elbows inside the knees. From here, raise one arm up in the air (doesn’t matter which one), then the other arm, now with your best form stand up keeping your arms overhead. I typically do this drill 3-5 times and then come back down in a reverse Turkish Get up and repeat this process on the opposite side with the get up first and doing the squat windmill at the top.
There you have it. This is my mobility base routine and it can be continuously added to or subtracted from. Walkouts, Spider-mans, thoracic bridge extensions, thread-the-needles, ankle circles, all can be played with in this framework. Have fun, and move well!