Mobility Exercises to Add into Your Pre-Game Workout Routine
A Dynamic warmup before exercise is great for several reasons: creating a spike in HR, delivering an increased blood flow to the working muscles, increasing the amount of oxygen readily available for your body, preparing your joints for loaded movement, priming the nervous system, and increasing core temperature (just to name a few).
Due to individual, physiological and structural differences, not everybody takes the same amount of time to “warm up”. Generally, the guideline is to take a 10-minute warmup to ensure that your body is ready for the demands of exercise or performance.
A Dynamic warmup, most of the time, includes some “Mobility” work. Mobility is the body’s ability to move within its entire range of motion during a dynamic movement.
Before we start these exercises, you will need a resistance band!
Here are 5 great mobility exercises that will enhance joint health and get the body prepared for exercise:
- 90-90 Seated Hip Sequence
For someone with “tight” hips, glutes, or low back, spending an ample amount of time on this exercise will release a lot of tension in these tissues.
Start by sitting on the ground with your left leg in front of you. Bend your leg at a 90-degree angle at the hip and the knee. Bend your right leg at the same position behind you. The only difference is that the outside part of your left knee is on the ground, and the inside part of your right knee is on the ground.
You’ll find that this position may feel uncomfortable, but make sure you are breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Turn your body towards your left leg and reach away from your body with your right hand. You should feel your back, glutes, and hips getting a nice stretch! Don’t go too far and doing small movements back and forth makes all the difference.
Once you find that tight spot, make sure to breathe, and then contract for 5 seconds. After you’ve contracted this tight area, release and move a little further into that spot to get a greater stretch.
Perform 20 repetitions, and flip over to the other side and perform the same exact sequence.
- Groin Stretch with Band Distraction
Having a resistance band in your bag will be your best friend during a long season because you can strap it right to the fence!
The groin stretch with band distraction is a great exercise to elongate the tissues within the inner leg and the front of the hip.
You’re going to need a resistance band for this exercise. Start by tying it to an object (like the fence) that allows the band to stretch a moderate distance.
Set up in a lunge position with your back knee on the ground. Your rear leg should be inside the loop of the band.
Make sure there is some sort of tension on the band before you begin.
Contract the glute of your rear leg for 5 seconds. This will naturally extend your hip forward, putting a little more tension on the band and you will feel a greater stretch.
After the contraction, relax and breathe out. Perform 20 repetitions and switch to the other leg.
- Wall Angels
Wall angels are one of the most beneficial exercises to engage the rotator cuff and open a tight upper back.
To start, lay down on your back with your knees bent so that your back is completely flat against the ground.
Place your arms to your sides and make a W-shape. Your palms should be facing forward. Try to keep your elbows behind your ears during the entire movement.
Slowly move your arms up as if you were scraping the wall behind you. Again, make sure to keep your elbows behind your ears to get the most out of this exercise!
When your arms are straight overhead, slightly push your arms up towards the ceiling to elevate the shoulders. When done correctly, you should feel your shoulder blade “tucking” into your arm pit.
Slowly come back down into the W-shape to complete the repetition. Complete 20 repetitions at a slow pace.
A great dynamic exercise that attacks tight tissues of the upper back, chest, and shoulders. You will need a resistance band for this exercise.
Grab the resistance band as if you were holding a broom stick. Start with your arms out in front of your body while applying a small resistance on the band to create a stretch.
Slowly raise your arms overhead while keeping tension on the band. Once your arms are completely overhead, reach up to the ceiling and then move your arms behind your body.
To complete the repetition, move your arms back to the front of your body in reverse order.
Complete 20 repetitions at a slow pace.
- Band-Assisted Lying Leg Raises
A great exercise that attacks tight hamstrings. Start by wrapping a long resistance band around your foot and then lie down on your back.
Pick up the leg with the wrapped foot as far up as you can while keeping it straight. Only go as far as you’re able to maintain the straight-legged position!
Once you’ve reached a point of slight discomfort, hold that position for 10-seconds while breathing in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
After the 10-second mark, push your toes away from the body multiple times. Release the tension and try to pull your leg a little closer to you.
Lower your leg back to the ground to complete the repetition. Perform 10 total repetitions.
Perform 3 sets on each leg, and you will be ready to crush the day!
Jarad Vollkommer, CSCS