By Laine Bergeson Becco, FMCHC |
1. Standing Joint Mobility
Featured Exercise: Standing Spinal Roll
This exercise allows for increased oxygen movement to most major joint complexes, including the spine, pelvis, hips, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands.
- At the lowest point of the movement, roll back to standing by reversing the motion, moving vertebra by vertebra from the pelvis up. Keep head and hands heavy during the movement. Complete 10 reps.
Option: Pause in the lowest position of the movement (the forward fold) and focus on gently shifting weight into the heels and then back into the toes. Repeat several times, making a slight rocking motion. This allows a greater degree of stretch and release in the back.
2. Ground-Based Mobility
Featured Exercise: Windshield Wipers With Shinbox Extensions
Using the ground as resistance is a great way to not only challenge the capacity to move, but also to make the heart work harder.
- With control, reverse the motion and bring your glutes back to the floor. Rotate your knees 180 degrees to the left and repeat the motion. Complete five reps on each side.
Option: Make it harder by holding a kettlebell at chest height. Make sure to keep elbows close to your sides and wrists straight.
3. Decompression — Thoracic Mobility
Featured Exercise: Thoracic Rib Pulls
Create the space for your breath and heart to do its work naturally. This exercise is a great way to improve thoracic mobility, which also offers the lungs and heart a greater degree of expansion.
Lay on your right side with your right arm extended directly in front of your chest with your palm up. Place your left hand across your right rib cage.
- Slowly twist your upper torso and look to the left, expanding your ribs and gliding your left shoulder in the direction of the floor. Slowly return to the start position. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.
Option: Extend the motion into a Bow & Arrow by getting into the same start position, but instead of grabbing the ribs with the left hand, extend your left arm out to meet your right arm with palms touching. Then, as you rotate to the left, bend your left elbow and bring your left hand across your body and to the right, fully extending your arm on your right side at the furthest point of rotation. Reverse the movement and come back to start.
4. Myofascial Release — Foam Rolling
Featured Exercise: Shoulders and upper back pressure points
Myofascial release via foam rolling can stimulate the lymphatic system and help move toxins out of the body.
- Then use your hip muscles to pull your body back toward your feet, returning your shoulders to the starting position. Throughout the motion, keep your spine neutral and your hips relaxed.