Are you an athlete looking for an edge in the game?
Mobility exercises are a great way to get ahead of the competition.
Not only do these workouts help increase strength and agility, but they can also improve overall performance while reducing the risk of injury.
Learning how to properly perform mobility exercises is key to getting the most out of them, so if you want to maximize your athletic potential, read on:
Full Body Mobility Exercises For Athletes
Listed below are the best mobility workout for athletes that are sure to produce results:
1. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon Pose is an excellent hip opener that targets the glutes, hip flexors, and external rotators. It helps to improve hip flexibility and range of motion.
It also stretches the thighs and groins, which can be particularly beneficial for athletes who engage in activities like running, cycling, and weightlifting.
- Start in a plank position, then bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist.
- The right foot should be angled toward the left side of the mat.
- Slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and pointing the toes.
- Square your hips as much as possible to the front of the mat.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale, and fold over your right leg.
- You can use your hands to support yourself or walk them forward for a deeper stretch.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.
- If your hips are tight, use a yoga block or cushion under your right hip for support.
- Keep the back leg engaged and straight to maximize the stretch in the hips.
- Avoid collapsing into your right hip; try to keep your hips level and square.
2. Prying Squat
The prying squat is a result-driven mobility exercise for athletes to improve hip and ankle mobility. It helps to open up the hips, stretch the inner thighs, and strengthen the lower body muscles.
This exercise is great for athletes who need to perform deep squats or have mobility issues in the lower body.
- Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
- Lower yourself into a deep squat position, keeping your chest up and back straight.
- Place your hands together in a prayer position, using your elbows to gently push your knees apart.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, feeling the stretch in your hips and inner thighs.
- Gently rock side to side or back and forth to increase the stretch.
- If you can't get into a deep squat comfortably, place a rolled-up towel or yoga mat under your heels for support.
- Engage your core muscles to maintain stability throughout the exercise.
- Perform controlled movements and avoid bouncing in the bottom position to prevent injuries.
3. 90/90 Stretch
The 90/90 stretch targets the hips and helps improve hip mobility and flexibility, which makes it a great hip mobility workout for athletes.
It specifically targets the external rotators, which are crucial for athletes involved in sports requiring lateral movements and direction changes.
- Start by sitting on the floor with your right leg in front of you at a 90-degree angle, knee bent at 90 degrees.
- Your left leg should be behind you, knee also bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Both legs should form an "L" shape.
- Slowly rotate your upper body to the right, keeping your back straight.
- You should feel a stretch in the front of your left hip and the outer part of your right hip.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.
- Keep your spine tall and avoid slouching forward during the stretch.
- If you want to intensify the stretch, lean forward slightly while keeping your back straight.
- Don't force the stretch; go only as far as your body allows without feeling pain.
4. Active Frog
The active frog is a dynamic stretch that targets the hips, inner thighs, and groins.
It helps improve hip mobility and prepares the body for activities that require a wide range of motion in the lower body.
- Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
- Slowly move your knees apart, allowing your hips to open up.
- Keep your ankles in line with your knees, creating a 90-degree angle with your legs.
- Press your hips back and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement for 10-12 repetitions.
- Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize your spine.
- Keep your movements controlled and avoid rushing through the repetitions.
- If you find it challenging to keep your ankles in line with your knees, place yoga blocks or cushions under your knees for support.
5. Cat-Cow Stretch
The Cat-Cow Stretch is a gentle mobility workout for beginner athletes as it helps improve spinal mobility and flexibility.
It stretches and mobilizes the entire spine, including the neck and shoulders. This is a great warm-up exercise for athletes before engaging in more intense workouts.
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Inhale, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling (Cow Pose).
- Exhale, round your back, tuck your chin, and draw your belly button towards your spine (Cat Pose).
- Continue flowing between Cat and Cow Pose for 8-10 repetitions.
- Coordinate your breath with the movements - inhale as you move into Cow Pose, and exhale as you move into Cat Pose.
- Focus on creating a smooth, fluid movement throughout the exercise.
- Keep your movements within a comfortable range of motion; don't force your spine into extreme positions.
It's clear that mobility exercises can make a huge difference for athletes in training and preparing for upcoming events.
Developing a series of mobility exercises that suit your particular sport is essential to optimizing performance, reducing discomfort, and allowing you to better enjoy the activities you're passionate about.
And hey, even if it doesn't make you dancier on the dance floor or cooler at school functions (depending on where you are in life), it will still provide some healthy physiological effects.
So, grab a foam roller and invest some time into your athletic self-care routine today.