Feel Better In Five Minutes

It’s Friday.

If you’re like most people, you’ve spent the last several days hunched over a desk, and not very active.

It sucks, but that’s the way it goes for a lot of us.

We are a “sit down a lot” society.

All this sitting can cause some problems, one of which is losing mobility and range of motion. Most people describe this as feeling “tight”, or “achy”.

Lack of mobility is also one of the biggest reasons we get injured. In short, if one joint doesn’t have proper range of motion, an adjacent joint will pick up the slack, causing it to move more than it should. This is how injury can occur.

The good news is that we can regain some of that mobility, and feel better pretty quickly. Long-term changes in mobility can take a while, after all we’re working on changing movement patterns that have likely been in place for several years. However, doing some simple drills can help you feel better in the short-term, and doing them consistently can lead to that longer-term increase in mobility that we want.

Some of the most common areas to lose mobility are:

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Thoracic Spine (mid back)
  • Hip Flexors (crease at top of your thigh)
  • Hip Adductors (inner thigh)

Below are four of my favorite mobility drills to address these commonly problematic areas. The good news is that you can do these anywhere, and need no equipment aside from yourself.

You can take a 5 minute break at the office and do these at your work space. Your body would welcome it. You can do these at home too, while you’re watching TV. Which gives you just about zero reason not to do them. My wife can attest to the fact that it’s not uncommon for me to be watching a season of The Office for the 15th time, after the kids are in bed, and drop down to the living room floor to do some mobility work.

Wall Slides

What they do: these open up your chest and shoulders by providing a good stretch at the bottom of the movement, encourage healthy movement in the shoulder blades, and prepare the mid-back for movement which can help with lack of mobility in the thoracic spine.

Cues:

  • -Keep hands as flat against the wall as possible.
  • -Pull your shoulder blades down as you move your arms down.
  • -Squeeze your back tight at the bottom of the movement
  • -Perform 8 reps

T-Spine Dips

What they do: these help regain spinal extension in the thoracic spine, and provide a good stretch in the lat.

Cues:

  • -Keep your elbows as close together as possible, and as high up on the wall as possible
  • -Keep the movement in the middle of your back
  • -Avoid moving your hips or low back
  • -Perform 8 reps

Yoga Plex

What they do: in short, a bunch. The Yoga Plex helps improve shoulder mobility, thoracic spine rotation and extension, hip flexor mobility, and puts a good stretch in the hamstrings.

Cues:

  • -Keep hips forward at the bottom of the movement
  • -Follow you hand with your face
  • -Reach your arm as far out as possible while making the arc
  • -Perform 6/leg

Split Stance Adductor Mobilization

What they do: increase mobility in the inner thigh (hip adductor), and feel really good.

Cues:

  • -Keep your foot of the straight leg flat on the ground
  • -Sit butt cheek of the bent leg back towards heel of the bent leg
  • -Perform 8/side

If you go through this whole routine once, it might take you a few minutes. If you have 5 minutes, you could certainly get through it twice.

You could do this routine as often to twice a day, every day.

Give them a shot and let me know how they go! And if you know someone who struggles with stiffness and minor aches, send this on to them. It might be just what they need to feel a little better.

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