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6 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function

6 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function
6 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function
Mon Nov 12

Having good joint mobility allows you to move your limbs freely and with a full range of motion.

Joint mobility makes playing sports, running, walking, throwing, and the many other physical activities that we perform every day much easier.

Unfortunately, many people have poor joint mobility because they sit for long periods each day or they fail to obtain enough exercise.

This causes their joints to become stiff and limits their range of movement.

They experience a decline in their physical performance and their risk of injury increases.

To avoid these problems, you will need to perform joint mobility exercises.

They will keep your joints flexible, functional, and pain-free.

This article will share six of the best.

How to perform joint mobility exercises

If you are interested in improving your flexibility and function, perform these joint mobility exercises four to five times per week.

Many people find that performing each stretch before an exercise session is a great way to warm up, but they can be performed at any time during the day or night.

Performing each stretch steadily and at a gentle intensity.

You will find that the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in-and-around your joints quickly begin to adapt and you will become more flexible.

Move in and out of each stretch several times and hold the stretch position for as long as you feel comfortable.

#1 — Butterfly Stretch (hip stretch)

This is a well known and effective stretch that most people have performed at some point.

It is a fantastic for stretching the groin muscles and for improving hip flexibility.

As you perform this stretch, remember to keep your back straight and move slowly.

If you don’t have much flexibility in your hip flexors, start with one side, then the other.

  • Sit on the ground with your knees to your sides and the soles of your feet touching
  • Place your hands on your feet
  • Press your hands into the ground as you press your feet together and move your groin closer to your heels
  • Perform 5 times, holding the stretch for up to 30 seconds

#2 — Kneeling lunges (hip stretch)

Kneeling lunges are a fantastic way to stretch the hip flexors, improve hip joint mobility and strengthen the knees.

They can be slightly tricky to perform correctly, as you will need to adjust the angle of your front and rear leg before obtaining a sufficient stretch.

  • Start by kneeling on your left knee with your toes down and placing your right foot flat on the floor in front of you (so your right knee is in front of you and bent at 90 degrees)
  • Press your hips forward until you feel tension in your hip  flexors
  • Keep your back straight and look ahead  throughout the stretch
  • (optional) Raise your hands over your head and place your palms together.  This will stretch your back.
  • Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides

#3 — Shoulder pass through (shoulders)

This is a useful stretch for anyone who suffers from poor posture, neck pain, or poor shoulder function.

It works a range of muscles including the chest, upper back, rotator cuff and anterior deltoid muscles.

You will need a straight stick to perform this exercise.

A broomstick or mop stick will work well.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding the stick parallel to the floor with both hands using overhand grip
  • While keeping your arms straight, slowly bring the stick over your head.  As you do so, concentrate on maintaining good posture and balance
  • Bring the stick as far behind your head as possible then return to start position.   Repeat 5 times.

#4 — Ankle mobility exercise (ankles)

Having good ankle mobility will make you more stable when on your feet and improve your balance.

It will strengthen the ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, making activities like running, walking, and weight lifting easier.

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand next to a wall
  • Place your hand on the wall for support
  • Rock forward so you are staying on your toes, then rock back so you are standing on your heels
  • Perform this movement as many as 10  times

#6 — Lying hip rotations

This is another useful joint mobility exercise for the hips.

It is a fantastic way to loosen up the hip flexors before an exercise like rowing or running.

  • Start by laying on your back with knees bent
  • Place your right ankle over your left knee
  • Rotate your hips in and out to move into and out of the stretch
  • Press your hand against your right knee to improve the stretch
  • Repeat on both sides 5 times

Thanks for reading Six Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function.

Give these joint mobility exercises a try and let us know how effective you found each one.